Veteran brings lawsuit against U.S. Government and Cerner for defective EHR | Luvera Law Firm Skip to content

Veteran brings lawsuit against U.S. Government and Cerner for defective EHR

Charlie Bourg’s prostate cancer could have been caught early and potentially treated – but after a 17-month delay in diagnosis, it is now terminal 

December 5, 2023, Spokane, Wash. – Since the beginning of its botched rollout in 2020, the Cerner electronic health record (EHR) system at Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center has caused administrative delays, gaps in communication and other glitches with tragic consequences, according to a lawsuit filed by Luvera Law Firm on behalf of Charlie Bourg, a 68-year-old Army veteran, against the U.S. Government and Cerner.  

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Washington on Dec. 1, 2023, alleges that an error in Cerner’s EHR system caused a 17-month delay in Bourg’s diagnosis of prostate cancer. In that time, say Bourg’s doctors, the cancer spread to other parts of his body and is now terminal.  

“What happened to Charlie is not only tragic – it’s inexcusable,” said Mark Kamitomo of Luvera Law Firm, one of the attorneys representing Bourg. “Electronic health records are intended to make care efficient and accurate, passing information seamlessly between providers to give the best care. In this case, Charlie would have been better served if his doctor had sent the referral by handwritten letter. This rushed, untested system caused a 17-month delay that essentially will cost him his life.” 

Bourg, a grandfather of five from Chewelah, WA, has a long history of standing up for his fellow veterans as a patient advocate – as well as being a vocal ally to the dedicated health care workers at Mann-Grandstaff, who he says have been run ragged and demoralized by the poorly-managed EHR rollout. He hopes that taking action against Cerner and government officials will be another step toward accountability for the harm done to veterans and their families – and those who serve them. 

“The folks at the medical center are doing the best they can,” said Bourg. “This is entirely on the shoulders of Cerner and the VA. This system has failed providers and patients alike, but they’re still pushing forward and defending it. It’s irresponsible and dangerous for thousands of people – I’m just one of many who will be affected.” 

Bourg’s experience began in December 2020, when his primary care provider ordered a routine prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test. The results flagged that he may have prostate cancer, and his provider’s office submitted a referral to a urologist the very next day. Under normal circumstances, Bourg might have seen a urologist within a few weeks – he’d had similar test results before, and the urology office always followed up. But because of technical errors with the EHR, his treatment was delayed for over a year.  

“Giant corporations like Cerner have a long history of evading accountability and passing the buck to doctors, health care workers and patients when something goes wrong with an EHR,” said Kamitomo. “In Charlie’s case, we believe the fault is clear. An erroneous communication delay drastically shortened his life, and those pushing the system forward must be held to account.” 

For ongoing updates on Bourg’s case, visit 


About Luvera Law Firm 

Luvera Law Firm is the Northwest’s premier personal injury law firm. The firm handles a broad variety of cases, including serious injuries and wrongful death caused by commercial and vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, product defects, construction site accidents, corporate wrongdoing, and insurance misconduct. Its work in pursuing accountability also creates positive change in corporate, governmental and individual behavior that makes the world safer for everyone. Learn more at 

Media contact
Annie Alley
[email protected] 

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Charlie Bourg standing in front of the engraved wall at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC
Charlie Bourg at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.

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