CHARLESTON - A Cross Lanes woman is alleging that a nurse at a Charleston hospital dislodging her husband's breathing tube directly resulted in his death.

On Feb. 6, Ina Ruth Scott filed a lawsuit against Charleston Area Medical Center and Jennifer L. Settle, a registered nurse, in Kanawha Circuit Court. In her complaint and suit, filed with the assistance of Richard D. Lindsay II, with the Charleston law firm of Tabor Lindsay and Associates, Scott, 65, alleges Settle negligently dislodged the tracheotomy tube inserted into her husband, Jerry Eugene Scott, 67, which deprived him of oxygen.

According to court records, Settle was attending to Scott on March 18. Though records are unclear as to how and exactly when, Settle dislodged Scott's tracheotomy tube.

It was not until 10 minutes later that Settle realized the tube was displaced. In her suit, Ina Scott alleges "Because the decedent [Jerry] was dependent upon the tracheotomy tube as his only means of oxygen, he went into respiratory arrest and died."

According to his death certificate, Jerry Scott's immediate cause of death was respiratory failure with a secondary cause of death as renal cancer, pneumonia and renal failure. Dr. Michael Covelli, who signed the death certificate, determined Scott's death to be accidental.

In her suit, Scott alleges both CAMC and Settle were negligent in monitoring Jerry's tracheotomy and breathing as well as noting the tube had been dislodged.

As a result of their negligence, Scott alleges she's suffered "great mental pain and anguish, loss of services, society, guidance and companionship of the deceased." Also, she has incurred "financial and pecuniary losses" including funeral and burial expenses.

She is seeking unspecified damages, costs and fees.

The case has been assigned to Judge Irene C. Berger

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 09-C-180

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