CHARLESTON – A Kanawha County man is suing over claims he was falsely accused of battery.
D. Mark Snyder filed a lawsuit Nov. 3 in Kanawha Circuit Court against Stephanie King, John Doe, chief security officer, Daniel Jackson, Charleston Area Medical Center Inc., Mike King, Eric Tipton, B. Lightner and the City of Charleston, citing libel and slander.
According to the complaint, on Nov. 4, 2013, Snyder went to the Charleston Area Medical Center to visit a friend, Anthony F. Serreno, who was rehabilitating following an amputation. Snyder says Serreno was diagnosed as needing further amputation and transferred from the second to the fifth floor, directly after being given a meal, forcing him to eat in his wheelchair in the hallway.
The lawsuit states there was a delay in getting Serreno situated and moved to his bed on the fifth floor, where defendant Stephanie King was the registered nurse assigned to care for Serreno.
According to the lawsuit, Serreno went to the nurses' station several times to request medication and being moved to his bed, but King blamed the wait on hospital policy, so Snyder finally went to the nurses' station himself, and King told him she had previously made the bed for Serreno.
Snyder says he asked King to accompany him back to the room to verify that it had not been made and Serreno had not been transferred to the bed, but King, apparently in an attempt to cover her own neglect, began yelling and screaming for security, yelling that Snyder had touched her.
According to the lawsuit, Snyder collected his things and left the facility, first stopping at the first floor security desk to ask about lodging a complaint, and was told only charge nurses were available for that but that King, who was married to defendant Mike King, a Roane County deputy sheriff, intended to file charges against Snyder for "touching her."
The lawsuit states Mike King contacted the city of Charleston Police Department regarding the incident, and prior to a proper investigation, defendant Tipton, upon instructions from the patrol division commander, procured an arrest warrant for Snyder on a charge of battery upon a health care provider.
Snyder turned himself into authorities and was released on bond but the defendants provided false information to the Judicial Ethics Commission, the lawsuit states. On May 22, Snyder says, Charleston Police Department officers appeared at his residence en masse on the pretext of looking for a missing person and entered his home without justification. Snyder says he was acquitted of the charges Aug. 7.
The defendants are accused of grossly negligent infliction of emotional distress, intentional infliction of emotional distress, libel and slander and malicious prosecution.
Snyder seeks punitive damages and attorney fees. He is represented by attorney James M. Pierson of Charleston.
Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 14-C-1960