Mercer woman files malpractice suit

By Cara Bailey | Aug 10, 2007

CHARLESTON - A Mercer County woman has filed a medical malpractice suit against a physician after she incurred more than $300,000 in medical bills due to the alleged negligent diagnosis and treatment of her symptoms.

Tina Baker, along with her husband Larry Baker, filed a suit July 27 in Kanawha Circuit Court, against Greenbrier Emergency Services, Inc., physician Fred Sabol and assistant Joe Sheets.

According to the suit, Tina Baker had surgery at Greenbrier Emergency Services in October 2005. During her surgery she was under general anesthesia and endotracheal intubation, which increases the risk of a respiratory infection, the suit says.

Less than a month later, Nov. 10, 2005, Baker went to the hospital complaining of chills, nausea, vomiting and fever for several days.

"At the time of admission, Mrs. Baker showed signs of marked tachycardia as well as hypoxic oxygen saturation," the suit says.

According to the suit, several tests were done, and Baker was sent home on anti-nausea medication.

Baker returned to the hospital Nov. 14 in acute respiratory distress and was placed on ventilation support and lifeflighted to Roanoke Memorial Hospital, where she remained on a ventilator and was hospitalized for an extended period of time due to a severe respiratory infection, the suit says.

According to the suit, Fred Sabol was the physician in the emergency room when Baker was a patient. Joe Sheets, a physician's assistant, cared for Baker under Sabol's care.

"Fred Sabol, D.O., was under a responsibility to appropriately supervise the physician's assistant and ensure that the emergency room patients' conditions were properly diagnosed and treated," the suit says. "It is unclear whether Fred Sabol, D.O., actually examined and/or evaluated (Baker's) condition before discharge."

Tina Baker claims she incurred medical expenses of approximately $300,000 and potential future medical expenses, permanent lung impairment, lost wages, impairment of capacity to enjoy life, and pain and suffering.

Larry Baker claims he has been deprived of the consortium, society and comfort of his wife, both temporarily and permanently, and has incurred medical expenses.

Tina and Larry Baker seek judgment in an amount to compensate them for the injuries and claims.

Attorney William M. Tiano is representing the Bakers. The case has been assigned to Judge Louis Bloom.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 07-C-1557

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