HUNTINGTON - An Ohio man has filed a suit against a local hospital, claiming he was seriously injured while a patient.

Danny and Laura Casey of Proctorville, which is just across the Ohio River from Huntington, filed a suit May 1 in Kanawha Circuit Court, against St. Mary's Medical Center.

According to the suit, Danny Casey suffered with constant neck pain, which he had treated with various medication and epidural steroid injections.

He underwent cervical surgery April 24, 2006, with Dr. David L. Weinsweig, a neurosurgeon, who performed a complete anterior cervical discectomy and fusion.

According to the suit, a small rent in the dura occurred during surgery and was repaired. Casey was sent home.

However, Casey claims he developed some leaking of cerebral spinal fluid May 2, 2006, and was re-admitted to the hospital. Upon his admission, a lumbar drain was inserted, which was successful in stopping the leak.

According to the suit, on May 5, 2006, the night nurse brought the day nurse into Casey's room because of a change in his status, which included numbness and a stretching sensation in his legs.

At that time, Casey claims he heard something metallic fall on the floor, and he rapidly became restless, agitated and complained of severe pain.

"Suddenly, Mr. Casey felt like his intestines were being ripped out through his rectum. The cheeks of his buttocks became numb," the suit says. "His penis withdrew completely inside him and his legs were in spasms so hard that his toes bent upward toward the top of his feet."

According to the suit, Casey "begged" the nurses to pull out the lumbar drain, but one said she didn't know how and the other said she was afraid to do it.

"The pain Mr. Casey endured was so bad he wanted to die, he contemplated running through a plate glass window to end it all but was restrained by several members of St. Mary's hospital staff," the suit says.

During this time, a nurse checked all lines associated with the lumbar drain and found a clamp missing from the normal saline bag.

Casey had 10cc of cerebral spinal fluid removed and was moved to the neurological unit, the suit says.

According to the suit, Casey started having severe headaches, neck aches and he has to take medication for the pain.

Casey claims he continues to have numbness in his rectum, and has had several accidental bowel movements since his release.

He claims he also suffers from seeing flashing lights, spotty vision, blurry vision and migraine headaches. According to the suit, he has had to stop all his favorite recreational activies, and was deemed permanently disabled. He claims he suffered severe pain, emotional distress, diminished earning capacity, loss of enjoyment of life and severe and permanent physical injuries.

Laura Casey seeks monetary damages for her loss of spousal services, society and companionship from her husband.

The Caseys seek compensatory and punitive damages to cover their injuries.

Attorney Brenda K. Neville is representing the Caseys. The case has been assigned to Judge David M. Pancake.

Cabell Circuit Court case number 08-C-382




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