Woman blames doctors for her paralysis

By Annie Cosby | Dec 16, 2014

CHARLESTON – A Kanawha County woman is suing over claims doctors and emergency department personnel failed to timely diagnose her condition, resulting in her paralysis.

Al Cindy Crowder filed a lawsuit Oct. 29 in Kanawha Circuit Court against New Century Emergency Physicians of West Virginia Inc., and Dr. Jeffery Mullen, citing the Medical Professional Liability Act.

According to the complaint, Crowder came to the Charleston Area Medical Center emergency department May 14, with complaints of left-side low back pain radiating into her hip and numbness in her feet, and was evaluated by the defendant company's employees, who gave her pain medication and diagnosed her with degenerative disc disease of the lumbar spine.

Crowder says she was discharged and told to follow up with Med Express and have an MRI in the future through workers' compensation, but on June 4, she again came to the emergency department for intractable back pain and dysuria. The lawsuit states Mullen evaluated her this time and sent her for a CT scan of her abdomen and pelvis but, during procedure, she was dropped while being moved from the gurney to the table, and afterward she experienced an increase in pain and weakness.

The lawsuit states Crowder had another MRI on June 11 and was diagnosed with a compression fracture and retropulsion, but due to the delay in her diagnosis and being dropped she now suffers from paralysis. The defendants are accused of negligence.

Crowder seeks general, compensatory and punitive damages, including medical expenses and costs.

She is represented by attorneys Matthew C. Lindsay and Richard D. Lindsay of Tabor, Lindsay and Associates in Charleston. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Paul Zakaib Jr.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 14-C-1937

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