BECKLEY – A Raleigh County man is suing a doctor and hospital alleging failure to properly diagnose a physical condition.

Richard Adkins and his wife, Lily Adkins, filed a lawsuit Nov. 13 in Raleigh Circuit Court against Dr. Margaret Anne Staggers, Beckley Emergency Physicians and Hospital Physician Partners, citing negligence.

According to the complaint, Richard Adkins was admitted to Appalachian Regional Healthcare in Beckley Jan. 14, 2013, for severe back pain, numbness in the lower extremity, difficulty urinating and inability to walk. Staggers examined Adkins, the suit states, and was unable to quantify muscle strength or achieve a reliable sensory examination. A lumbar radiograph and MRI was ordered on Adkins that revealed no results, according to the complaint.

On Jan. 16, 2013, Adkins was again admitted into the hospital complaining of pain in the back and lower extremity, the suit states, and a physical exam revealed abnormal motor, sensory and reflex in the right lower extremity.

The exam also showed that the left Achilles reflex was absent and abnormal plantar flexion of the left ankle with the inability to move, according to the suit. During a later examination, Adkins was diagnosed with cauda equina syndrome, massive herniated disc with stenosis, lumbar spine and L3-4 and to a lesser extent L4-5, the suit states.

Richard Adkins alleges Staggers and the hospital negligently failed to conduct a complete motor and sensory examination, appreciate the results of the MRI, and a diagnosis with a neurological event. As a result of the negligence, Adkins' cauda equina was permanently damaged leaving him paralyzed with loss of bowel and bladder control, the suit states.

Richard and Lily Adkins seeks compensatory damages plus court costs and interest.

They are represented by attorneys E. William Harvit of Harvit & Schwarts of Charleston; Bradley R. Oldaker of Bailey, Stultz, Oldaker & Greene in Weston; and Paul W. Roop II of Roop Law Office in Beckley.

Raleigh Circuit Court case number: 14-C-1044-K

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