BECKLEY – Patients who underwent cardiac procedures they claim were medically unnecessary have sued the doctor and medical facilities.

Michael Hester of Mabscott and Shawn Poore of Oakvale recently filed lawsuits in Raleigh Circuit Court against Raleigh General Hospital, Dr. Donald Kenneth Glaser, Lifepoint Hospitals Inc. and Lifepoint WV Holdings Inc.

According to Hester's complaint, on July 15, 2012, Hester, 53, went to Raleigh General Hospital complaining of chest pain. Glaser, the lawsuit states, consulted on the case and told the plaintiff he needed a cardiac catheterization. Two days later, the plaintiff underwent the procedure, the complaint says, and Glaser determined Hester had coronary artery disease in two vessels and inserted four stents that were not medically necessary.

"These procedures were not medically indicated and subjected Hester to unnecessary risks," the lawsuit states.

In fact, the suit says, the doctor had been receiving complaints since March 2010, when nurses went to hospital administrators and reported Glaser "was utilizing the cardiac catheterization suites between 18-21 hours per day and performing an alarming number of medically unnecessary cardiac catheterization procedures, balloon angioplasty procedures and stents. Nurses reported Glaser would commonly be found sleeping in patient rooms late at night, having dozed off while attempting to get patients to sign consent forms."

The health systems listed as defendants, the lawsuit states, knew about and financially benefited from "Glaser's scheme [and] they intentionally withheld this information from their patients until mid-January 2015." That's when hospital agents started contacting patients to tell them they might have been subject to an unnecessary cardiac procedure, according to court documents.

According to Poore's complaint, on Dec. 3, 2012, the 38-year-old was transferred from Princeton Community Hospital to Raleigh General Hospital in Beckley, suffering chest pain and shortness of breath. He was admitted to the emergency room, at which point a cardiology consultation was ordered, the lawsuit states.

Glaser was asked to consult on the case, and he advised the patient to get a cardiac catheterization, according to the lawsuit. The operation was performed the next day, the suit states and, during the procedure, Glaser inserted a stent in Poore's right coronary artery "that was not medically necessary."

For financial gain, the lawsuit asserts a balloon angioplasty and stent was performed, but the defendants "continued to conceal the impropriety until mid-January 2015, when an agent for the defendants contacted Mr. Poore by telephone."

Both seek economic, non-economic and punitive damages, plus interest and court costs. He is represented by attorneys Ben Salango and Brett Preston of Preston and Salango in Charleston.

Raleigh Circuit Court case number: 15-C-365-K (Hester) and 15-C-368-K (Poore)

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