CHARLESTON – A Raleigh County couple is suing Charleston Area Medical Center after they claim the hospital and three of its physicians were negligent and caused damages.


Drs. Samuel S. Groves, Suzanne Lee Gharib and Darshankumar A. Dave were also named as defendants in the suit.


On Nov. 13, 2012, blood studies conducted on Clifton W. Duff showed that he had an elevated CK/CKMB and ne was complaining of lower extremity pain, according to a complaint filed Jan. 30 in Kanawha Circuit Court.


Duff and his wife, JoAnne Duff, claim during Clifton Duff's hospitalization, Groves believed his physical symptoms and elevated CK were a result of possible polymyocitis and were secondary to hypothyroidism and questionable rhabdomyolysis.


Gharib was called to consult on Clifton Duff's condition and believed his symptoms were related to an elevated thyroid-stimulating hormone level. Dave was also called to consult and he believed  his condition was possibly related to gout and the symptoms and elevated CK were secondary to hypothyroidism, including rhabdomyolysis, according to the suit.


The Duffs claim on the Nov. 13, 2012, CK/CKMB study indicated Clifton Duff's CK was 2,967, however, by Nov. 18, 2012, it had risen to 68,210.


During this time period, the defendants suspected acute compartment syndrome as a possible cause for the elevated CK and Clifton Duff's physical symptoms, according to the suit. It was not until Nov. 27, 2012, that a consultation for possible compartment syndrome was called.


The Duffs claim after vascular surgery was consulted, Clifton Duff was immediately taken into the first of several surgeries to debride dead muscle tissue for the compartment syndrome he was suffering.


As a result of the defendants' negligence, Clifton Duff suffered enormous pain and suffering; mental and emotional distress; and a loss of enjoyment of life, according to the suit.


The Duffs are seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. They are being represented by R. Dean Hartley, Mark R. Staun and Jake R. Stout of Hartley & O'Brien PLLC; and Gregory W. Sproles of Gregory W. Sproles PLLC.


The case is assigned to Circuit Judge Louis Bloom.


Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 15-C-206

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