Hospital to blame for man's death, suit claims

By Cara Bailey | May 23, 2008

CHARLESTON - The estate of a man who died of complications following a medical procedure has filed a suit against the hospital, seeking compensatory damages.

Marsha G. Tullis filed the suit April 18 on behalf of the estate of Curtis I. Gilmer. The suit is against Thomas Memorial Hospital.

According to the suit, Gilmer went to the hospital April 21, 2006, to have benign prostate surgery. The suit says his surgery was successful and he was admitted to the hospital for overnight observations.

However, during the evening of April 21 and early morning of April 22, Gilmer developed serious respiratory problems and his oxygen saturation rate dropped significantly, the suit says.

According to the suit, Gilmer continued to deteriorate throughout the night, however, neither his surgeon nor admitting physician was contacted.

The suit says that when the surgeon arrived at 8 a.m. April 22, he immediately suspected the possibility of pulmonary embolism due to Gilmer's labored breathing and other symptoms.

However, while on the way to the Radiology Department for testing, Gilmer died.

Tullis claims the hospital employees displayed negligence, carelessness, recklessness, incompetent procedures and a lack of care and deviation from the normal standard of medical care.

Tullis seeks compensatory damages for the estate of Gilmer.

Attorney Robert V. Berthold Jr. is representing Tullis. The case has been assigned to Judge Louis Bloom.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 08-C-760

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