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December 15, 2017

When Lawrence Johnson was admitted to the Miami VA hospital for a spinal fusion of his neck in May 2016, the U.S. Marine Corps veteran had trouble swallowing after surgery. 

To feed Johnson as he recovered, doctors ran a thin feeding tube through his nose and down the back of his throat. But they missed the 68-year-old’s stomach, and sent the tube into his right lung instead, according to a lawsuit that Johnson filed Dec. 4 in U.S. District Court against the Miami VA Healthcare System.

Doctors didn’t realize their mistake for two days. By then, Johnson had developed a blood infection and pneumonia as the liquefied food built up between his lung and...

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