Man alleges nursing home’s negligence killed his wife

By Carol Ostrow | Jun 17, 2015

POINT PLEASANT — A Mason County widower is suing his wife’s nursing care facility, alleging medical malpractice caused her death.

John Schmitt, as personal estate representative for Gladys Gerlach, deceased, filed a lawsuit May 20 in Mason Circuit Court against Pleasant Valley Hospital Inc., doing business as Pleasant Valley Nursing and Rehabilitation Center of Point Pleasant, alleging wrongful death and negligence in his wife’s 2012 death.

According to the complaint, between Dec. 21-22, 2012, the facility breached its duty of care to Gladys Gerlach during her residency when she suffered respiratory failure and cardiac arrest following a fall, and the defendant failed to monitor her condition.

The suit asserts Pleasant Valley failed to maintain a safe environment, proper supervision, and even basic needs such as food, toileting, cleaning and assistance.

Schmitt alleges the defendant contributed to his wife’s injuries, resulting in pain, suffering, and ultimately her death on Dec. 22. He accuses the facility of failing to keep family fully informed of her medical condition, provide sufficient staff and services in compliance with state and federal law and care for the decedent in a manner to promote or maintain her quality of life with courtesy and dignity.

The plaintiff cites loss of companionship and funeral expenses.

Schmitt seeks compensatory and punitive damages, pre- and post-judgment interest, attorney fees and costs. He is represented by attorneys Andrew Paternostro and Jeff Stewart of The Bell Law Firm in Charleston. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge David W. Nibert.

Mason Circuit Court case number 15-C-71

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