Preston Co. individuals sue WVU Board of Governors for wrongful death

By Kyla Asbury | Jun 8, 2010

MORGANTOWN -- Two Preston County individuals are suing the West Virginia University Board of Governors for the wrongful death of a woman.

Joan Dixon became a patient of Dr. Umapathy Sundaram, an employee of the WVU Board of Governors, in September 2007, according to a complaint filed April 29 in Monongalia Circuit Court.

Rex A. Wiles and Rita A. Guthrie, the co-executors of Dixon's Estate, claim Sundaram performed an Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography on Oct. 23, 2007, on Dixon.

Despite the fact that Dixon's condition was improving, Sundaram recommended another ERCP be performed after evaluating her on Jan. 9, 2008, according to the suit.

On Feb. 21, 2008, the ERCP was performed and during the procedure, Dixon's oxygen saturation level began to drop and she began to hypoventilate and eventually suffered cardiopulmonary arrest and died, according to the suit.

Wiles and Guthrie claim it was the defendant's responsibility to monitor Dixon's levels and as a result of its negligence, it is responsible for Dixon's wrongful death.

The plaintiffs are seeking compensatory and punitive damages. They are being represented by William M. Tiano.

Monongalia Circuit Court case number: 10-C-293

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