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Fla. judge finds in favor of vet in hepatitis case

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MIAMI (AP) - A Miami federal judge ruled in favor of a veteran who says shoddy hygiene practices at a Veterans Administration hospital caused his hepatitis infection.

Air Force veteran Robert Metzler and his wife in a lawsuit are seeking $30 million in damages. The ruling Thursday says damages will be settled later.

Many similar cases have been filed around the country.

The plaintiffs' attorney Ervin Gonzalez contends Metzler contracted hepatitis C after undergoing a colonoscopy with unclean equipment at the Miami VA hospital in 2007.

Metzler was one of thousands of veterans in five states to receive letters from the VA in 2009 urging them to get blood tests after being treated. The VA contended in court it did not cause Metzler's infection and should not pay damages.

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