HUNTINGTON -- Thirty-four residents of West Virginia and Ohio are suing St. Mary's Medical Center in 21 separate suits after they claim the hospital is responsible for allowing a Huntington surgeon to perform procedures on them.

Rayetta Baumgardner, Latha Bolen, Daniel Bolen, Bonita Campbell, James Campbell, Charlotte Deal, Marshall Deal, Connie Devore, Carroll Devore, Teressa Hager, David Hager, Lorenna Hankins, Pamela Hatfield, Linda Jones, Patty Lewis, Rodney Lewis, Theresa Lovins, Martha Martin, Tammy Martin, Derek Martin, Louella Perry, Sam Perry, Sherry Perry, Jerry Perry, Kim Roe, Bert Roe, Janice Roush, Rebecca Smith, ANgela Stroud, Eric Stroud, Debra Wise, Ronald Wise, Diana Boerke and John Boerke claim St. Mary's Medical Center was negligent in letting Dr. Mitchell Nutt perform procedures that he was "incompetent to perform," according to 21 complaints filed July 30 in Cabell Circuit Court.

The plaintiffs claim Nutt implanted Avaulta Support Systems into their bodies at St. Mary's during surgeries. They claim C.R. Bard, the manufacturer and seller of the Avaulta Support Systems, stated that Nutt had not been trained to implant the devices.

"The actions and inactions of St. Mary's Medical Center, Inc., in credentialing Dr. Nutt to perform the procedures upon plaintiff patients, and in allowing him to perform said procedures, were negligent and proximately caused and contributed to plaintiffs' injuries and damages," according to the suits.

The plaintiffs claim St. Mary's had a duty to use reasonable care in the provision and maintenance of safe and adequate medical or surgical equipment; to select and retain only competent physicians; to oversee all persons who practice medicine within the walls of the facility as to patient care; to limit, as necessary, the types of services a person practicing within the facility may perform; and to formulate, adopt and enforce adequate rules and policies to ensure quality care for the patients.

The plaintiffs are seeking compensatory and punitive damages. They are being represented by Paul T. Farrell Jr., Lawrence J. Tweel, J. Robert Rogers, Derek W. Marsteller, Brett J. Preston and C. Benjamin Salango.

The cases have been assigned to Circuit Judge F. Jane Hustead.

Cabell Circuit Court case numbers: 10-C-541 through 10-C-561

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