CHARLESTON -- A Logan County family is suing two doctors and associated businesses over an alleged missed diagnosis that has resulted in severe and long lasting physical damage to an infant girl.

Felicia and Robert Tolliver filed suit Feb. 17 in Kanawha Circuit Court against doctors Larry Lucas and Samuel Rojas, Southeastern Emergency Physicians and Team Health. The companies are headquartered in Knoxville, Tenn., and engage in physician staffing services. The complaints say the companies do substantial business in Kanawha County.

The Tollivers claim that Lucas and Rojas failed to diagnose their infant daughter Miley with Group B streptococcus meningitis when they brought the girl into Logan Regional Medical Center on July 2, 2008. Miley was not a month old at the time.

Lucas was the doctor in the emergency room that attended to Miley, who was allegedly suffering from a fever. The girl also was exhibiting excessive crying and couldn't sleep, the complaint says. Rojas is a pediatrician. Both practice in Logan County, the complaint says.

Miley was admitted to the hospital, "presumably in stable condition," after Lucas made a primary diagnosis of a fever of unknown origin and a secondary diagnosis of oral candidiasis and colic, the complaint says.

During the course of Miley's stay at Logan Regional, she continued to have a fever and also vomiting and uncontrollable crying, the complaint says. She also had a "bulging fontanel," or an outwardly curving soft stop in her skull caused by fluid build-up.

Miley was transferred to Cabell Huntington Hospital where the meningitis diagnosis was made and antibiotic treatment was begun, the complaint says.

However, the Tollivers allege that because the defendants failed to make the diagnosis, Miley has sustained profound brain damage, quadriplegia, cortical blindness, neurogenic bowel and bladder, dysphagia, seizures, impaired thermal regulation, deep vein thrombosis of the lower extremities, diabetes insipidus and aphasia, the complaint says.

Lucas and Rojas both failed to perform a sepsis workup on Miley, which would have included a lumbar puncture, the complaint says.

Miley will need 24-hour care for the rest of her life, will never be gainfully employed and has experienced pain and suffering, the lawsuit says. Her parents have and will experience both economic and non-economic losses related to their daughter's sickness.

C. Benjamin Salango is representing the Tollivers. The case has been assigned to Kanawha Circuit Judge James Stucky.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 09-C-258

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