Rally For Tally

$8,510 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 22 people in 2 months
First off I would like to say thank you for your time and for reading my story. It's an extremely sad and somewhat long story, but have left out many details in hopes of shortening it up a bit. The events and details of the story is so outrageous it doesnt even seem possible. This has been extremely hard for me to reach out for help, however I realize that I need to swallow my pride, and learn to accept help from the loving and caring people like yourselves. 
Before my medical condition I was a strong, healthy 38 year old Marine veteran who has a wonderful family of 4 kids and a loving marriage of 20 plus years.  I have been a successful business owner whether it was when I lived in Colorado or here in California. I had a wonderful life, and was in the midst of growing another successful business.  That is until the date of January 2016.
This date has forever changed the course of my life.  This is when I went into a VA facility for medical care because I just wasn’t feeling right, and I was all of a sudden starting to develop severe back pain.  Not the kind of pain that you get when you pick up something wrong, or you sleep on it funny, the kind of pain that made me completely soak my sheets, I mean really soak my sheets at night in sweat.  The initial diagnosis was a back sprain, which I thought sounded weird because I know I hadn’t injured my back at all in the previous days or weeks. At the end of the day I thought that they are the trained medical experts and I put my full faith and trust in them to provide me with medical care that every veteran deserves.  I was prescribed a cocktail of pain medications and sent on my way, only to continue to have the same and worsening pain in the days to come. This landed me right back at the VA’s doorstep where I was once again misdiagnosed with a low back sprain and sent away with more pain pills. This continued on for another few weeks, me continuing to regress deeper into pain, go to the ER and be sent away time and time again with more pain pills.  
Nothing they were doing was working and they even said “they didn’t think my night sweats had anything to do with my back sprain” but never followed through anymore on that thought. I was at my pain threshold and was needing more answers and begged the VA to perform an MRI to see if they could find anything else that could be wrong, at this point I was trying to perform the duties of a doctor and diagnose myself because I was getting no one to listen to me and no one was willing to help.  After days on the phone trying to get an MRI scheduled unsuccessfully with the VA my wife reached out to a private imaging provider and we paid for and scheduled my own MRI outside of the VA. It is this kind of thing that demonstrates the complete lack of care or willingness to figure out what was wrong with me that continued to show throughout my experience with the VA.

I went to dozens and dozens of doctors’ appointments and emergency rooms unable to stand the constant pain and in this entire time no one had the thought of performing a basic blood panel to check for infection or see if anything else could be going on.  This simple, non-invasive, inexpensive, and widely used diagnostic tool never went used. This simple blood test would have changed my life in ways I can’t imagine. Instead, no one ever performed this most basic of tests and now I have a life changing spinal injury for the rest of my life.  You see my back pain wasn’t caused by sports, work,  or a lifting injury; it was being caused by a "bone eating" staph infection in my spine that was aggresively eating my bones, nerves and spinal tissue. I went over 4 months diagnosed with a back sprain, strain, etc, and no one ever thought to look for anything else despite my symptoms pointing in every other direction other than a back sprain.  
Surgery Day:  They finally opened me up on April 30th, 2016    only to find that I didn’t have any degenerative issues with my back.  It wasn’t a slipped disk or a sprain, it was as the doctor called it “moth eaten bones of my spine” that was caused by an aggressive staph infection that damn near killed me and was being masked on a daily basis by the dozens and dozens of pain pills that the VA threw at me for months on end  in the hopes I would go away.
The day I walked into that VA clinic was the worst decision of my life and one I will have to live with for the rest of my days. I went onto needing an IV Picc line in my arm for 3 straight months and still have permanent nerve, tissue, spinal, digestive, reproductive, and emotional damage for the rest of my life.  I can’t throw a baseball with my teenage kids, I can’t stand long enough without pain to cook a meal for myself, I can’t sit without pain either. I don’t have normal bowel movements anymore; and I have severe reproductive issues that I will have to deal with for the rest of my life. I will never be the same and that is so hard to take. On top of all of the physical and emotional damage the biggest thing I lost was the ability to earn a living and take care of my family.  
To remind you, I have been an extremely successful business owner before this happened. I have started and ran multiple companies with dozens of employees that I’ve provided for and have always been a provider for my family. This was the biggest thing that was taken away from me by the VA, my ability to roll up my sleeves and get things done to better our financial situation. I have always been the sole financial provider for our family and did it very well for decades until this happened to me.  I am so embarrassed by these things and it has made me feel like less of a man and I don’t want any other veteran to have to deal with this type of thing ever again.
The runaround that I’ve received from the VA is frightening.  After almost a year of my claim being filed I was advised that the doctor in question is not
a VA employee and was a private contractor thus not applicable under the current claim. 
On top of this multiple VA attorney's that I’ve been working with to settle the claim is on record (audio recorded) that the "VA failed to meet the standard of care" and that their was a breach in the care and liability is involved, and that they are looking to settle. From this I gained a huge amount of relief going into the holidays trying to keeps things afloat for a little while longer while the VA put together their final offer.  I was fed a false sense of optimism. In early January 2018 after nearly a 1 year review of my case, which was supposed to last 6 months I was blindsided by a flat out denial from the VA. 
 I was notified nearly a year after my original tort claim was filed that I would have to file a claim against the doctor personally for the negligence and malpractice. By the time I was notified with this crucial information the California state statute of limitations had passed and I was left with zero repercussions and accountability for the wrong doing. Here’s my problem and concern. Once the VA attorneys found out that there was a private contractor involved in my care they immediately took a step back, and placed all the blame on the contractor, wiped there hands clean, denied my Tort Claim, and walked away.

I’m now left permanently disabled and unable to work due to the neglectful actions of the VA Emergency room and my primary care Doctor. My Tort claim was denied due to an “employment status” and a “technicality”. I have suffered tremendously because mistakes were made in my care, and now I’m left out in the dark, with a wife, 4 children, and unable to work due to the severity of my injury that was caused by neglect.

As a result of the Spinal infection I will live in chronic pain for the rest of my life, I have been diagnosed with Degenerative Disc Disease of the lumbar spine, Degenerative Disc Disease of the thoracic spine, Degenerative Disc Disease of the cervical spine, Stenosis of the spine at C2-3, Stenosis of the spine at C3-4 with posterior disc bulge, Stenosis of the spine at C4-5 with posterior disc bulge, Stenosis of the spine at C5-6 with posterior disc bulge, Stenosis of the spine at C6-7 with posterior disc bulge.

I have trouble walking, sleeping, emotional problems, anxiety, trouble urinating, and urinary incontinence, reproductive issues, bowel movement irritation, constipation, low back pain, low back stiffness, shooting and burning pains in my legs, and constant pressure on my spine.
Thank you for reading my story. My Family and I sincerely appreciate any offerings you may bless us with as the money will go towards legal fees, housing, food expenses, and other bills associated with day to day life. 

May God Bless each and every one of you!

Thank you-

Brian Tally

I'am in the process of changing the way the FTCA tort claims work to help protect Veterans  in the future from reckless independent contractors working inside the VA system.

Here's a sneak peak of my proposal dubbed the "Tally Bill":


We are currently in the planning stages of developing and proposing a bill to protect Veterans from reckless Independent Contractors that are hiding behind the VA veil.  I'm currently working with Congressman Duncan Hunter, Tommy Marquez, and his staff.

Know who is caring for you. What is there employment status? Is your VA doctor / RN / ER staff etc; “Independent Contractors or “VA Employees”

My proposal is to make it law that all employees inside all VA hospitals, and VA clinics, wear appropriate identification stating if they are “VA Employees” or if they are “Independent Contractors”

A color coded badge would work well as visual identification.

Malpractice and Negligence causing permanent injury or death doesn’t happen very often, but when it does and mistakes have been made,  it can be catastrophic to one’s life if the affected Veteran doesn’t know the Employment status of the provider he/she is seeing. Knowing how and where to file a malpractice claim is extremely important.

The Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), established in 1946, is the legal mechanism for compensating people who have suffered personal injury due to the negligent or wrongful action of employees of the U.S. government.

It’s time to modify this act from 1946. This was written 72 years ago. In 2018 the VA is hiring more “Independent Contractors” than ever before and is expected to climb in the coming years due to budgets, and liability.

The FTCA  does not cover “Independent Contractors” working for the VA, even though they are wearing VA badges,  have VA laptop computers, VA ID cards that they slide into the computer with their VA credentials to complete,  update, and generate official VA doctors reports. They have white doctors coats with the letters “VA” embroidered on them. They have business cards and show up to the same place of business everyday, and even have an office out of the VA facility. That doesn't sound like “Independent Contractors” to me.

As Veterans how are we protected to know who we are dealing with as they don’t identify themselves as any other person or entity than the VA. This VA (Non disclosure) policy of Independent contractors must change.

Who holds the “Independent Contractors” accountable for their actions inside of a VA Hospital or VA Clinic.

After all  appointments, procedures, or emergency services provided to the Veteran, he/she must be advised on who was providing the care, and what their employment status is by a simple checkbox on there medical report marking if they are an “Independent Contractor” or “VA Employee”.

During a phone call in February,  with regional counsel, I spoke to a VA attorney, and I asked a simple question. “How is the Veteran supposed to know the difference between a VA employee vs. an Independent Contractor inside a VA hospital or VA  clinic”? She stated you wouldn't know the difference. That's why it took the VA 10 months to inform me that the accused Doctor was an Independent Contractor therefore blowing my statute of limitations to seek legal counsel vs. my primary care doctor, (The Independent contractor)

The VA’s top Attorney at the  Office of General Counsel in Washington DC, stated to me on the phone last week. “It's not tattooed on their foreheads if they are VA Employees or Contractors, it takes time to find out the employment statuses of our staff. In your case it was 10 months, I’ve seen it take well over a year before. It’s harder than you think” Again that’s where an easy fix would come into play and simply check a box!

My next question was, has this happened before to other Veterans?. He said , “unfortunately yes”. How can this keep happening with no simple fix in line to prevent serious financial hardship for the most vulnerable people in society, “an injured veteran who can no longer work and provide for their family through no fault of their own due to medical malpractice and negligence”.

The fact that the VA has stated to me that this has happened before is discouraging that they knew about the problem and haven't made a simple fix to correct it, therefore  negatively affecting my families lives, and the lives of other Veterans.

VA Accountability act…President Trump has been speaking about the “VA Accountability Act” a quite a bit lately, however accountability is nowhere to be found as I’m fighting for my life and justice.  My former primary care doctor is still operating under VA hiding behind the VA independent contractor status even though she was found to be guilty of malpractice, neglect, and failing to meet the standard of care, with no repercussions.

I'm trying to hold the VA accountable for their inaction on this known problem because they obviously don't seem to think its serious enough or lack the resources to make a change.

A private doctor (Independent Contractor) is 1 year statute of limitations in California and 2 years for the VA, my proposal would be to make them both the same. If you contract to the VA it should fall under the same VA umbrella.

 I have also been trying to hold the VA accountable from a legislative stand point to provide better disclosure to veterans. We are working alongside Congressman Duncan Hunter, Michael Harrison and Tommy Marquez to draft such a bill.

This needs to stop! And here is the start to protecting Veterans from unidentified , and non disclosed, Independent Contractors contracting with the VA.
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We are making positive strides in the right direction to raise awareness about a shameful loophole within the VA. Thank you for standing with me in this fight to pass the #Tallybill. Here is the latest article written by American Military news.

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Here is a news clip from San Diego CBS 8. Thank you all for your help and support!
Semper Fi-

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