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Thursday, January 25, 2024

Veteran Affairs Patient Jonathan Montano's Wrongful Death

     On May 25, 2011, 65-year-old military veteran Jonathan Montano sat in a chair with an IV shunt in his arm waiting for his dialysis treatment at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Loma Linda, California. Norma Montano, Jonathan's wife of 44 years, waited with him in the federal medical facility. After waiting four hours for his dialysis treatment, Mr. Montano informed a nurse that, tired of waiting, he had decided to seek dialysis at the VA hospital in Long Beach. Jonathan sent his wife to fetch the car.

     A VA nurse informed the patient that he was not authorized to leave the hospital. When it became obvious that Mr. Montano disagreed with that policy and began to leave, the nurse called for muscle in the form of armed, uniformed officers with the Department of Veteran Affairs Police. (The VA has its own police force. The VA police exist to deter and prevent crime and investigate criminal incidents within the VA system.)

     As the feeble veteran made his way to the hospital door two VA police officers tackled him to the ground. The stunned patient's head bounced off the floor and he ended up being pinned down with one officer's knee in his back and the other officer's boot on his neck. The brute force caused the dissection of the veteran's carotid artery, and this led a blood clot that caused a stroke.

     Jonathan Montano had come to the VA hospital in Loma Linda for dialysis and ended up being manhandled by in-house police officers. Apparently in the VA system, patients who expressed disapproval of the poor service were punished. Mr. Montano would have been better off if he had been simply ignored or allowed to find care elsewhere.

     As the VA officers were brutalizing her husband, Norma Montano sat in the car waiting for him to walk out of the hospital. She had no idea that his walking days were over. When he didn't appear, she re-entered the hospital to find him, thinking that perhaps medical personnel were finally hooking him up to a dialysis machine.

     According to the VA doctor who spoke to Norma about her husband, the patent had fallen and suffered a stroke. This of course was not true. She learned of the doctor's lie when a nurse pulled her aside and told her what really happened to Mr. Montano.

     Jonathan Montano, on June 11, 2011, two and a-half weeks after being slammed to the hospital floor and pinned with VA boots on his back and neck, died. Hospital authorities listed stroke as the cause, and natural as the manner of his death. As a result of this fabrication no one in an official position called for a criminal investigation.

     In May 2014 Norma Montano and her two adult children filed a civil suit in federal court against the  Loma Linda VA hospital. The plaintiffs sought punitive, compensatory and emotional stress damages for Mr. Montano's wrongful death at the hands of the VA police officers. The government stood accused, in connection with this veteran's death, of committing the torts of negligence and false imprisonment. There was also a bureaucratic cover-up.

    In September 2015 the Montano family settled the wrongful death suit against the VA for $500,000. The fates of the VA officers who caused this veteran's death was not made public.


  1. Mr. Fisher, why haven't you contacted the District Attorneys office in San Bernardino to look into this killing. Also you can go to the VA page and there is a red button to notify the OIC and notify them of this murder

  2. We need to serve our veterans better than we have been and should feel ashamed about it. These people risked their lives for our nation and what we compensate them with is shameful. Veterans, the education system, social security system, and more can be fixed if the right people took care of them. Our nation has more greedy people and unpatriotic people and that's why the OWO is having it easier to take over. Just like children, they will cry when it's too late.

  3. No statue for Mr. Montana, no multi-million dollar settlement, and no one in prison for his wrongful death. Yes, our veterans deserve better, a lot better.