Huntington woman blames DHHR for son's death

HUNTINGTON -- A Huntington woman is suing the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources after she claims they are responsible for the death of her 29-year-old son.

John Does 1-25 were also named as defendants in the suit.

The WVDHHR is doing business as Mildred Mitchell-Bateman Hospital.

Matthew Allen Pike was a resident at the William R. Sharpe Jr. Mental Hospital until October 2011, when he was transferred to Mildred Mitchell-Bateman Hospital, according to a complaint filed April 25 in Cabell Circuit Court.

Penny Pike, Matthew Pike's mother, claims on Dec. 28, 2011, two unknown employees of the hospital negligently killed her son.

The two unknown employees and/or agents of the defendant "negligently and in the course of their employment, committed a civil battery upon the decedent, who was an intellectually disabled individual," the complaint states.

Penny Pike claims the unknown employees touched Matthew Pike and caused him to be touched in an offensive or harmful fashion to which he did not consent.

The unknown employees negligently used excessive force against Matthew Pike while acting within the scope of their employment, according to the suit.

Penny Pike is seeking compensatory damages with interest. She is being represented by Paul E. Biser.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge David M. Pancake.

Cabell Circuit Court case number: 12-C-269

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