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Creating Possible Precedent: Marine Cpl. William Draughon

January 2018
Client Success

Marine Cpl. William Draughon experienced heavy combat and lost several squad members during a seven-month tour while serving from 2001 until his honorable discharge with awards for heroic leadership in 2005. Returning home, he screened positive for severe post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); he took his own life in 2010.

Representing his family in a wrongful death action were Husch Blackwell attorneys Larry McMullen, Christina Pyle and Michael Raupp along with senior paralegal Shawn Shipp. The U.S. District Court found the Veterans Health Administration (VA) breached its standard of care and directly contributed to Cpl. Draughon’s death by removing him from its list of patients at high risk for suicide without evaluating his mental state or reviewing his file. The VA also failed to provide timely follow-up care to Draughon after discharge from a VA treatment program. McMullen notes that, “This case could be precedential in holding the Veterans Administration accountable for the health of military personnel who have sacrificed so much for our country.”


Larry L. McMullen

Of Counsel