Retired psychiatrist claims chemicals caused respiratory ailments

By Cara Bailey | Sep 20, 2007

MORGANTOWN - A former psychiatrist at Ruby Memorial Hospital has filed a suit against the hospital, claiming chemicals used on the floor above his office caused him to develop respiratory problems.

David M. Morgan filed a suit Sept. 10 in Monongalia Circuit Court, against the West Virginia University Board of Governors, West Virginia University Hospitals, Inc., Ruby Memorial Hospital, University Health Associates and James K. Hackett.

According to the suit, Morgan began his residency in psychiatry 1976 in Morgantown. From 1988 to May 15, 2006, he worked as a staff psychiatrist at West Virginia University Health Services, located in the Health Services Center.

"On May 15, 2006, (Morgan) retired from his position as a Staff Psychiatrist due to chronic health conditions he developed through exposure to harmful chemicals at his office located at the Health Sciences Center," the suit says.

According to the suit, Morgan's office was located below the Mary Rabb Randolph Cancer Center, which operated a mammography machine, which uses chemicals that can cause chronic respiratory problems.

Morgan claims that because of his respiratory problems, he needs continuing and future medical treatment. He also claims that the hospital forced him to resign from his position.

The suit says that the hospital has failed to pay Morgan the benefits he accrued throughout his years of service, which constitutes a breach of contract.

In the seven-count suit, Morgan seeks compensatory and punitive damages, plus a trial by jury.

Attorney Michelle Widmer-Eby is representing Morgan. The case has been assigned to Judge Robert Stone.

Monongalia Circuit Court case number 07-C-600

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