BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — Disturbing allegations arose from patients at the Beckley VA medical center.
Attorney Stephen New, who is representing these patients, said veterans, who were there seeking help, claim they began to feel uncomfortable with their treatment.
“Indicating that they had been fondled in a way that was outside what they thought they were going there for,” New said.
Thirty-seven victims came forward with concerns about their doctor. Of them, 14 filed formal complaints with the West Virginia Board of Osteopathic Medicine. The Executive Director of the Board confirmed they received those complaints on Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020, and one previous complaint. All of those complaints are against Dr. Jonathan Yates.
“The idea was they would be getting manipulation and sort of alternative medicine that didn’t involve prescriptions. Then that manipulation turned into something that was a violation of their privacy,” New said.
The Beckley VA released this statement regarding the allegations:
“As soon as the Beckley VA Medical Center discovered these allegations, we immediately brought them to the attention of the VA’s independent inspector general on June 12. Additionally, the Beckley VAMC fired the individual at the center of these allegations. VA has made clear it will hold employees accountable when they fail to live up to the high standards Veterans and taxpayers expect, and that’s exactly what happened in this case. This is an isolated incident and as the independent IG said, the facility ‘has taken steps to ensure the immediate safety of its patients.’ VA is cooperating fully with the independent IG’s ongoing investigation.”
New wants Dr. Yates held accountable, both by the board of medicine, and by the court of law.
“You have to follow a process called the Federal Torte Claims Act. We are in that process now, which may or may not lead to a civil lawsuit in federal court against the VA and the Office of Personnel Management,” New said.
With multiple agencies investigating these allegations, New hopes his clients, who fought for our country, will receive justice.
“They were wronged. That’s why this was so important. Not just who they are, but the fact that a person in a position of trust wronged them,” New said.