Man sues 19 medical companies over wife's death

Thomas Memorial Hospital is located in South Charleston.

CHARLESTON - A Putnam County man has filed a professional malpractice suit against 19 medical companies, including Thomas Memorial Hospital and Teays Valley Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, on behalf of his wife, who allegedly died because of the negligent treatment she received as a patient.

Raymond Kessell, through attorney Erin L. Winter, filed the suit Sept. 12 in Kanawha Circuit Court on behalf of his wife, Reba Kessell. Raymond Kessell is the personal representative of the estate of Reba Kessell.

Teays Valley Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, also known as Teays Valley Center, is a nursing home in Hurricane, owned by Genesis Health Ventures Inc. of West Virginia, also is named as a defendant in the suit.

According to the suit, Reba Kessell entered Thomas Memorial Hospital on March 10, 2006, due to gastrointestinal symptoms. Kessell stayed in the hospital for 15 days, during which she developed pressure ulcers and lost a significant amount of weight.

"Mrs. Kessell suffered from skin breakdown and pressure ulcers during her admission to Thomas Memorial Hospital," the suit says.

The suit also says Thomas Memorial failed to provide relief and care or treatment to prevent the skin breakdown, and failed to reassess and monitor Kessell for symptoms of malnutrition.

Kessell became of a patient of Teays Valley Center on Aug. 16, 2005. According to the suit, Kessell still had areas of skin breakdown, which required care. However, during her stay at the center, the pressure ulcers worsened and became infected.

She also suffered from inadequate nutrition and hydration.

"The negligence and carelessness of the professionals and non-professionals at Thomas Memorial Hospital and Teays Valley Center contributed substantially in causing serious injuries to Mrs. Kessell, resulting in pain, suffering and ultimately her death," the suit says.

Kessell died from the results of systemic abuse and neglect Oct. 27, 2006.

According to the suit, the defendants were negligent by failing to monitor Kessell's needs and provided inadequate, inappropriate health care.

In the three-count suit, Raymond Kessell seeks compensation pursuant to a wrongful death claim as defined by West Virginia Code. He also seeks judgment against the defendants and all damages allowable.

The case has been assigned to Judge Irene Berger.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 07-C-1925

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