Widow sues Barboursville dermatologist over husband's death

By Kyla Asbury | Dec 4, 2013

HUNTINGTON - A widow is suing a Barboursville dermatologist after she claims the physician is responsible for her husband's death.

On Aug. 21, 2008, David Varney was seen in Dr. Amy A. Vaughan's office for a lesion on his right upper arm, according to a complaint filed Nov. 13 in Cabell Circuit Court.

Kimberly Varney, the executrix of David Varney's estate, claims Vaughan excised the lesion and sent the tissue to pathology, which diagnosed the lesion as being a superficial spreading malignant melanoma.

On Sept. 17, 2008, Vaughan performed a wider, but inadequate, excision on the lesion, which tissue was negative for residual melanoma, according to the suit.

Kimberly Varney claims Vaughan did not perform, recommend or refer David Varney for any additional therapy or treatment and on Jan. 18, 2011, following complaints of persistent low back pain, he underwent an MRI which showed "multiple replacing lesions identified throughout the lumbar spine visualized thoracic vertebral bodies," as well as marrow replacing lesions with the visualizes sacrum.

David Varney was referred to an oncologist and he was diagnosed with metastatic malignant melanoma with spinal metastases and spinal cord compression, according to the suit.

Kimberly Varney claims as a result of the defendant's failure to remove an adequate amount of tissue during the treatment and diagnosis of David Varney's melanoma, and failure to provide any further treatment, David Varney suffered severe and permanent injury and died on Dec. 5, 2011.

The defendant acted negligently, carelessly, willfully and wantonly or with a reckless disregard of risk of harm to David Varney and was the proximate cause of injury to and the death of David Varney, according to the suit.

Kimberly Varney is seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. She is being represented by Matthew C. Lindsay of Tabor Lindsay & Associates.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge F. Jane Hustead.

Cabell Circuit Court case number: 13-C-854

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