Fairmont General hit with wrongful death suit

By John O'Brien | Jun 14, 2006

Fairmont General Hospital

MORGANTOWN - The widow of a man who died in May 2004 at Fairmont General Hospital is suing two doctors, the hospital and a company that provides emergency room physicians.

Crystal Holmes filed the lawsuit May 19 in Monongalia Circuit Court as the administratrix of Prince Lamont Holmes' estate against Fairmont General, Greenbrier Emergency Physicians, Jonathan Logan and Radhika Mehendru.

She says her husband was a patient of all the defendants on May 23-24, 2004, when he was denied proper medical care.

The lawsuit says Holmes had a history of psychiatric illnesses and substance abuse problems, and was taking the prescription medicines Wellbrutrin, Seroquel, Antabuse and Lamictal. He also had a history of suicide attempts, claiming he attempted to overdose at least 10 times.

On May 23, 2004, he called Marion County 911 and informed the dispatcher that he was suicidal. An ambulance rushed him to the emergency room at Fairmont General, where he stated he wanted to be admitted into a mental health facility, the lawsuit says.

It adds that it appears he was sent to the behavioral medicine department for further evaluation, where he passed out and became unresponsive.

A few hours later, while still in the state, the lawsuit alleges an ambulance was requested by Fairmont General employees to take him back home. When Emergency Medical Service personnel questioned the decision, the lawsuit says Logan assured them that he was okay and had Seroquel, which is used to treat psychotic disorders, in his system, claiming he "just needed to sleep it off."

He was placed face down on the couch and later went into convulsions, the lawsuit says. He was taken back to the hospital where he went into cardiac arrest and died.

An autopsy, the lawsuit says, showed he had two drugs other than Seroquel in his system and determined he died from an overdose.

Mehendru is charged with failing to properly evaluate Holmes' condition.

Crystal Holmes is seeking compensatory, general and punitive damages for her and her two infant children.

Paul R. Cranston of Morgantown law firm Cranston and Edwards is handling her case, which has been assigned to Judge Robert Stone.

Monongalia Circuit Court case number 06-C-333

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