CHARLESTON - The widow of a man who died after his pacemaker malfunctioned filed a medical malpractice suit against the doctor who installed the device.

Augustine Bryant of Mingo County filed the suit Oct. 23 in Kanawha Circuit Court on behalf of the estate of her late husband, Billy Frank Bryant. Physician Ronald J. McCowen and Charleston Area Medical Center are named as defendants.

According to the suit, Billy Bryant was a patient at CAMC Memorial Division on Aug. 4, 2005, when McCowen implanted a bipolar active fixation defibrillation electrode, commonly referred to as a pacemaker.

The pacemaker was a St. Jude model 1590-60, which was obtained from the medical device storage section of CAMC. According to the suit, that model of pacemaker had been recalled nearly two months before it was implanted in Bryant's chest.

The device was recalled because of a software problem, which caused them to malfunction.

On. Oct. 24, 2005, Bryant died with his pacemaker malfunctioned.

Augustine Bryant claims that the hospital and McCowen should have known the pacemaker was recalled and provided her husband with competent medical care.

In the six-count suit, Augustine Bryant seeks compensation for her grief, loss of companionship and consortium, pain and suffering and her husband's untimely and unnecessary death, as well as other damages.

Attorney Edward Rebrook III is representing Bryant. The case has been assigned to Judge Tod Kaufman.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 07-C-2297

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