Woman sues Wheeling hospital over husband's death

By Cara Bailey | Apr 2, 2007

WHEELING - The widow of a man who died after being treated at a Wheeling hospital has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the facility.

Tyrena Harrigan filed a suit March 22 in Ohio Circuit Court on behalf of her husband, Ronald Harrigan. The suit names Wheeling Hospital, J. Michael Petersen, Howard Lee Shackelford, Ohio Valley Surgeons and Amy Lynn Farmer as defendants.

On Sept. 17, 2005, Ronald Harrigan died at Wheeling Hospital. He was admitted on June 30, 2005 with a non-healing left foot ulcer. At the time he was 45 years old, and a diabetic.

After being admitted, Petersen performed a left below-the-knee amputation on Harrigan. When Harrigan began to wake from anesthesia he was in pain, and pain relievers were ordered, both oral and intravenous, the suit says.

According to the suit strong pain relievers were administered every hour for several days, and on July 1, 2005, Harrigan was found pulseless and apneic in significant bradycardia with cardio pulmonary resuscitation started. He was transferred to the Intensive Care unit. During that time, Harrigan had two cardiopulmonary arrests.

"As the result of his two cardiopulmonary arrests Ronald Harrigan suffered anoxic brain damage from which he never fully recovered, becoming ventilator dependant and going on to develop a plethora of systemic complications, eventually leading to his death on Sept. 17, 2005," the suit says.

The suit says the negligence of the hospital and its employees caused Harrigan to die.

Tyrena Harrigan, through her attorney Howard Louik, seeks compensation from the hospital for damages she suffered.

The case has been assigned to Judge Arthur Recht.

Ohio Circuit Court case number 07-C-103

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