MORGANTOWN -- A Taylor County man is suing the West Virginia University Board of Governors after he claims he faces permanent paralysis because of its failure to diagnose spinal cord injury.

On Dec. 1, 2010, Richard Newbraugh was involved in a motor vehicle accident in Taylor County in which he sustained a severe spinal injury and was transported to the emergency room at United Hospital Center in Bridgeport for emergency care and treatment, according to a complaint filed in Monongalia Circuit Court.

Newbraugh claims while he was a patient in United Hospital Center’s emergency room, employees and/or agents of the defendant performed tests and procedures on him in an effort to diagnose and treat the severe spinal injury.

An MRI scan revealed significant damage to, and swelling of, Newbraugh’s spinal cord, but, despite these findings, the defendant negligently failed to admit Newbraugh to the hospital for immediate care and surgery for the spinal injury, according to the suit.

Newbraugh claims the defendant also failed to transfer him to any other trauma facility more properly equipped to treat his severe spinal injury.

As a result of the defendant’s negligence, Newbraugh suffered enduring severe pain and anguish as he attempted to recuperate at his own home from Dec. 1, 2010, until Dec. 14, 2010, according to the suit, until his pain became so unbearable that he presented to the emergency room at Ruby Memorial Hospital for a second opinion.

Newbraugh claims he was immediately admitted to Ruby Memorial Hospital and surgery was performed to stabilize his condition.

The defendant deviated from the acceptable standard of care by allowing Newbraugh to lose the good and useful function of his upper extremities, wherein he now faces permanent and irreversible upper extremity paralysis, according to the suit.

Newbraugh is seeking compensatory damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. He is being represented by Wesley W. Metheney.

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