CHARLESTON -- A man is suing a local pulmonary disease physician for the death of his father after he claims the physician operated on his right lung instead of the left.

On July 17, 2007, James Fowler Sr. underwent a thoracentesis on his right hemothorax by Dr. Edward Grey at Charleston Area Medical Center, according to a complaint filed Dec. 8 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

James Fowler Jr. claims it was well documented that his father's pleural effusion was on his left side and not the right side and that Grey failed to mark the correct lung prior to the operation.

According to the suit, Grey breached the standard duty of care by not ensuring that the correct hemothorax was tapped, as directed by Fowler Sr.'s history, physical exam and relevant imaging studies.

Fowler Jr. claims because Grey entered into the wrong lung, his father developed pneumothorax, which continued to cause problems until his death.

After the procedure, Fowler Sr. was required to stay in the hospital for two weeks, in which numerous medical services were needed in order to recover from Grey's error, according to the suit. Fowler Jr. claims his father suffered pain from the date of the procedure until his death, suffered loss of enjoyment of life and also incurred extensive medical bills and constant pain.

Fowler Jr. is seeking compensatory damages. He is being represented by Henry E. Wood III.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge James C. Stucky.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 09-C-2250

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