Suit says doctor performed unnecessary operation

By John O'Brien | Sep 1, 2006

CHARLESTON - A recently filed lawsuit charges a Morgantown doctor from deviating from the expected standard of care.

"That is to say," the lawsuit explains, "the defendants, jointly or severally, through their actions or omissions, operated on the wrong ankle."

Robert and Brina Williams filed their suit Aug. 23 in Kanawha Circuit Court as the parents and next friends of Charles Williams III, who was the victim of Dr. Eric Jones' alleged behavior on Aug. 23, 2004.

West Virginia University Hospitals, doing business as Ruby Memorial Hospital is also listed as a defendant.

The Williams are Hinton residents who sought the services of Jones, who is a professor and practicing orthopaedic surgeon in Morgantown, the complaint says.

It adds that Jones "failed to follow the recognized standards of care involving surgeries of extremities. Nevertheless, Dr. Jones proceeded to perform such dangerous surgical procedures on patients, including the plaintiff."

Jones is accused of performing "an unnecessary surgery on an otherwise normal and healthy ankle."

Rather than operating on an injured right ankle, he went to work on the left.

An affadavit from Ohio doctor Brian Heller supports the Williams' theory that "wrong site surgery" had been committed.

Heller calls it "presumptively negligent and a gross deviation from the standard of care."

The suit seeks compensatory and punitive damages, as well as court costs, and was filed by Lewisburg attorney Eric Francis.

Judge Charlie King has been assigned the case.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 06-C-1682

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