CHARLESTON – The estate of a Roane County woman is suing over claims her doctors failed to order CT scans after she was fatally injured in a fall.

The estate of Ellen Starcher, by Rena Hughes, administratrix, filed a lawsuit Sept. 12 in Roane Circuit Court against Dr. Carroll Christiansen and Dr. Sireesha Vemuri-Vijaya, citing negligence.

According to the complaint, Starcher suffered a fall June 23, 2012, after which she came under the care of her primary care physician, Dr. Christiansen, and the physician on call, Dr. Vemuri-Vijaya. The complaint states the doctors failed to send Starcher outside Miletree Center for a CT scan of her head even though nursing staff reported the fall was un-witnessed and caused injury to her head and Starcher was taking Coumadin at the time. According to the lawsuit, the fall caused an intracranial hemorrhage, which caused her death June 28, 2012.

Hughes seeks compensatory and punitive damages. She is represented by attorneys Charles M. Love IV of The Love Law Firm in Charleston and Marvin W. Masters of The Masters Law Firm in Charleston.

The case was assigned to Circuit Judge Thomas C. Evans, III but then removed to the Charleston Division of the Southern District of West Virginia on Nov. 5.

The removal states Roane County Family Health Center Inc. is deemed an employee of the U.S. for purposes of the Public Health Service Act and, as such, the case was removed to federal district court.

Charleston Division of the Southern District of West Virginia case number: 2:14-CV-27603




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