West Virginia Record

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Woman blames rehab hospital, staff for late husband's injuries

By Annie Cosby | Oct 21, 2014


CHARLESTON – A woman is suing over claims her husband was injured in a rehabilitation hospital when staff allegedly failed to respond to his respiratory distress.

Georgiana H. Michael, individually and as executrix of the estate of Philip E. Michael, deceased, filed a lawsuit Sept. 15 in Kanawha Circuit Court against Rebound, doing business as HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Huntington, Dr. Thomas Dannals and Dr. Suresh Kumar, citing medical negligence.

According to the complaint, Philip Michael was admitted to HealthSouth's facility Oct. 6, 2012, when he came under the treatment of Dannals and Kumar and nursing personnel. The complaint states that on Dec. 7, 2012, Dannals ordered the drug trazodone to be added to Michael's allergy list and prescribed a new medication known to cause respiratory depression among other side effects.

According to the lawsuit, Michael began sleeping heavily and became virtually unresponsive on Oct. 9, 2012, but the HealthSouth staff failed to investigate the cause, continued to dispense the medication, and failed to contact a physician or 911 when Georgiana Michael requested that be done.

The complaint states Michael had to be transported St. Mary's Medical Center on Oct. 10, 2012, and he required resuscitation treatment prior to the EMS team's arrival, which the defendants failed to provide. The defendants are accused of medical malpractice and negligence, elder neglect, and negligence – failure to honor request of medical power of attorney for life-prolonging intervention.

Georgiana Michael is represented by attorneys Cheryl A. Fisher and Tony L. O'Dell of Tiano O'Dell in Charleston. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge James C. Stucky.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 14-C-1709

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