Woman says doctor misdiagnosed her, improperly performed surgery

By Annie Cosby | Oct 9, 2014

BECKLEY – A Wyoming County woman is suing over claims she suffered permanent shoulder injury during treatment after surgery.


BECKLEY – A Wyoming County woman is suing over claims she suffered permanent shoulder injury during treatment after surgery.

Rita F. and Anthony R. Lester filed a lawsuit Sept. 5 in Raleigh Circuit Court against Matthew K. Nelson, M.D., citing negligence.

According to the complaint, Rita Lester underwent a left humeral nailing by Nelson at Raleigh General Hospital on Oct. 10, 2011, and reported pain in her shoulder during physical therapy over the next few months. The complaint states Nelson reported her fracture healed on Dec. 7, 2011, and suggested aggressive physical therapy, but when the pain continued, the doctor performed surgery in January 2012 based on a diagnosis of a left rotator cuff tear and April 2012 for shoulder arthroscopic manipulation.

Lester says in September 2012 she finally saw another doctor who referred her to orthopedics that diagnosed a nonunion of the humeral shaft and infection, which required additional surgeries to remove the infected nail and treat the infection that continued until August 2013.

Nelson is accused of negligence in failing to properly perform the surgery and failing to diagnose her infection. Lester says this has resulted in permanent damage to her shoulder and accrued more than $200,000 in medical expenses. Anthony Lester is suing for loss of consortium.

The Lesters are being represented in the case by attorneys Robert V. Berthold Jr. and Holly G. DiCocco of Berthold Law Firm PLLC in Charleston. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge John A. Hutchison.

Raleigh County Circuit Court case number: 14-C-870-H

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