CAMC Women's and Children's Hospital

CHARLESTON - A woman who was examined at Women and Children's Hospital after she was raped has filed a suit against the hospital because the swabs from her rape kit were thrown away before evidence could be taken from them.

The victim filed the suit under counsel of Charleston attorney Madonna C. Estep on March 6 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

The suit says the victim, who is only identified by initials in the suit, went to the hospital on Nov. 5, 2006, and told the hospital staff she had been raped. She was examined, and evidence, including swabs, was taken from her.

"Upon returning home from the hospital, the plaintiff was notified by voice mail message that the swabs had been thrown in the trash," the complaint states.

The suit says that by allowing the swabs to be thrown away, the hospital violated its duty to exercise care over its patients.

As a result of the negligent loss of the swabs, the victim lost an opportunity to seek justice against the perpetrator of the crime against her, the suit says, which resulted in severe emotional distress.

Also, notification of the loss of material by voice mail message was "outrageous, intolerable and offensive" to generally accepted standards of decency, the suit says.

She demands compensatory damages for economic and non-economic losses.

The case has been assigned to Judge Louis Bloom.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 07-C-394

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