The family of a US Marine veteran of the Iraq war, who killed himself after being denied mental health care, sued the head of the Veterans Affairs Department on Thursday for allegedly causing their son's suicide.
The lawsuit says the VA is to blame for the death of 23-year-old Jeffrey Lucey, a Marine who killed himself in June 2004 after he returned from a tour of duty in Iraq, asked for treatment of mental problems and was denied help.
The lawsuit sought unspecified damages and named as defendants Jim Nicholson, secretary of Veterans Affairs, who is leaving his job soon, and the US government.
The action comes just days after the group Veterans for Common Sense sued Nicholson and the VA on behalf of injured Iraq war veterans. That lawsuit accuses the agency of unlawfully denying veterans disability pay and mental health treatment.