CHARLESTON – A Kanawha County woman has sued a surgeon for what she claims was a botched gallbladder surgery.

In the lawsuit, Ruby Bailey says she began having problems with her gallbladder on Aug. 28, 2003. She says Melissa Powell, a surgeon with West Virginia University's Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences in the Kanawha City section of Charleston, removed her gallbladder on Sept. 3, 2003.

But, "the defendant negligently and carelessly performed the operation in such a manner as to thereby cause injury to the plaintiff," Bailey claims in the suit. "The defendant cut an internal structure in the plaintiff's body that should not have been cut in the process of removing the gallbladder."

In the suit, filed Dec. 14 by attorney Harold Albertson, Bailey claims she was injured as a direct and proximate consequence of Powell's failure to meet the standard of care and treatment.

The suit claims Powell didn't discover she had injured Bailey for several days and that before the injury was discovered, Bailey sustained additional serious injury. And because of that, the suit says, Bailey suffered the pain, cost and damage of a second operation needed to repair the injury she claims she sustained in the first surgery.

Because of the defendant's negligent and careless acts, Bailey suffered "injuries to her internal structures and other body parts as well as other physical and physiological damages which are permanent in nature," requiring past, present and future medical treatment, along with past, present and future medical bills.

In addition to the medical bills, Bailey says she suffered a decrease in her earning capacity, her value of life, her enjoyment of life, pain, suffering and mental anguish, all of which she claims will continue.

Bailey seeks damages to be determined during a jury trial, as well as costs and relief.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Jim Stucky.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 05-C-2712

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