West Virginia Record

Monday, November 18, 2019

Doctor accused of neglience relating to Lyrica, sued after patient dies

By Whitney Brakken | Jan 17, 2014


CHARLESTON -- A local doctor is being sued after his patient died.

Diana M. Smith, Executrix of the Estate of Elvin C. Smith, deceased, filed a lawsuit Jan. 10 in Kanawha Circuit Court against Thomas William Howard II MD, citing negligence and gross negligence.

The complaint states on Dec. 22, 2011, the defendant examined Elvin and prescribed him Lyrica. The plaintiff contends Dr. Howard did not discuss any of the side effects with either Elvin or Diana. Elvin complied with defendant's directions and took the prescription as prescribed, but after ingesting the medication Elvin began to talk and act unusually, according to the complaint. The complaint states on Dec. 29, 2011, Elvin committed suicide. The plaintiff contends the defendant failed to alert and educate Elvin and Diana about the risks of Lyrica, failed to appropriately assess Elvin's medical history, failed to appropriately monitor Elvin and breached the standard of care owed to Elvin, which caused his death.

Diana M. Smith is seeking a compensatory damages and punitive damages. The plaintiff is being represented by attorneys R. Dean Hartley, J. Michael Prascik and Mark R. Staun of Hartley & O'Brien PLLC.

Kanawha Circuit Court Case No. 14-C-49.


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