82 veterans sexually molested at Leavenworth VA settle for $7 million

Elizabeth Howe
December 11, 2019 - 10:36 am

Getty Images

A $7 million settlement has been awarded to veterans sexually molested by a physician assistant at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Leavenworth.

Between 2012 and 2014, physician assistant Mark Wisner sexually molested patients at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center. In 2017, Wisner was convicted of aggravated sexual battery and aggravated criminal sodomy and sentenced to 15 years and seven months in prison according to NPR affiliate KCUR

In a lawsuit, 82 veterans alleged that the U.S. government should have been aware of Wisner's danger to patients. He had a history of sex-related crimes reaching as far back as 1987 and as recently as 2014, KCUR reported. 

The settlement of that lawsuit — $6.97 million — will be split evenly between the 82 veterans involved in the case. 

“What happened at the VA Medical Center should have never occurred, and Mark Wisner should not have been permitted to continue working,” a press release from Dan Curry, the Kansas City lawyer who represented the veterans, read. “Multiple times, the VA administration at that hospital had reports that Wisner was behaving inappropriately.  One of his earliest victims committed suicide not long after the VA police interviewed him about Mark Wisner. This was years before Wisner physically assaulted more than 90 veterans. Someone needed to connect the dots.”

While the case was settled — in the interest of reaching a resolution sooner rather than later — Curry is pursuing the situation further. He has contacted the Joint Commission, the not-for-profit organization that accredits hospitals, to reopen its inquiry into how the Leavenworth VA Medical Center handled Wisner.

“I don’t believe the hospital administrators provided the Joint Commission all of the facts," Curry said. 

“I’m glad that it is resolved, and that the VA acknowledged that what happened was wrong,” Jason Weiser, one of Mark Wisner’s patients and a participant in the settlement said in a release from the law firm.  “I hope they make changes for the better.”

Want to get more connected to the stories and resources Connecting Vets has to offer? Click here to sign up for our weekly newsletter.