CHARLESTON - The wife of a now-deceased prominent Charleston chiropractor has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against CAMC and others.

Sharon Casto, Administratrix of the Estate of Larry Casto, lists Charleston Area Medical Center, New Century Emergency Physicians of West Virginia, William Payne, M.D. and the University of West Virginia Board of Trustees as defendants in a lawsuit filed Feb. 22 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Larry Casto arrived in the emergency room of Charleston Area Medical Center Memorial Divisions at 9:30 p.m. on Oct. 26, 2004, but the complaint says treatment of his condition was so delayed that it had a hand in causing his death on Nov. 21, 2004, in Pittsburgh.

"Dr. Casto did not receive medications or any other procedures to treat his condition until 1:00 a.m. on 10/27/04, some three and one half hours after the electrocardiogram showed he was suffering from an acute myocardial infarction," the complaint states.

The suit claims a triage nurse who evaluated Casto at 10:15 p.m. classified him as "urgent" instead of "emergent," which would have granted him access to a doctor immediately.

Five minutes later he was assessed again, though not put on a cardiac monitor, the claim says. During that evaluation, he rated his pain a 10 on a scale to 10. The claim adds that his chart read that he was restless and anxious and arrived "in the Emergency Department concerned he is going to die."

At 10:25 p.m., an electrocardiogram diagnosed Casto with acute myocardial infarction - a mild heart attack - yet no action was taken and no treatment given, the complaint says.

More than an hour later, a second electrocardiogram showed the same thing, but Casto did not receive any medication other than pain killers until 1 a.m., the complaint says.

It adds that he later underwent coronary bypass surgery and went into carcinogenic shock, putting him on a left ventricular assist device. He was flown to the transplant center at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center for a possible heart transplant, but he passed away before it could happen.

Casto became a public figure by running advertisements in area newspapers. One ad showed a 26-year-old fit Casto with his shirt off, and another featured a baby photo.

Casto ran for a seat on the Kanawha County Commission in 2002, but lost in the May Democratic primary to Tom Black.

His wife Sharon is suing for punitive, general and compensatory damages. She seeks recovery "under and up to the limits of the state liability insurance coverage as acquired under the authority of the West Virginia code."

Richard D. Lindsay is representing Sharon Casto. Circuit Judge Paul Zakaib has been assigned the case.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 06-C-336

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