Man sues WVU Board of Governors for family member's death

CHARLESTON – A man is suing the West Virginia University Board of Governors, claiming it is responsible for his family member’s death. Clara Anderson was admitted to Charleston Area Medical Center on Sept. 7, 2010, with severe abdominal pain, according to a complaint filed Dec. 14 in Kanawha Circuit Court. Shawn Shelton claims it was determined that Anderson was suffering from acute appendicitis and laparoscopic surgery was performed by Dr. Aaron Brown, who determined Anderson’s appendix had ruptured. Anderson was discharged on Sept. 10, 2010, but returned on Sept. 28, 2010, with abdominal pain and shortly thereafter, she suffered a massive ischemic stroke and died on Oct. 1, 2010, according to the suit. Shelton claims Brown was negligent in his care of Anderson. Brown failed to meet the applicable standards of care and violated his duty of care to Anderson, according to the suit, by failing to place a drain in her abdomen after the rupture was discovered in order to drain the fecal material which would cause infection; failed to put Anderson on a course of antibiotics to combat the infection; and failed to schedule follow-up care shortly after the procedure to check for signs of infection. Shelton claims the defendant’s negligence caused Anderson to suffer hypercoagulation of her blood secondary to sepsis, which is associated with major thrombotic ischemic events, resulting in both the stroke and the heart attack that caused Anderson’s death. The defendant’s actions caused Shelton suffer loss of expected income of Anderson; incur expenses for care, treatment and hospitalization; incur reasonable funeral expenses; and suffer sorrow and mental anguish, according to the suit. Shelton is seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. He is being represented by C. Paul Estep and Virginia Jackson Hopkins. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge James C. Stucky. Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 12-C-2473

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