CHARLESTON -- A man is suing Manor Care and HCR Manor Care Services for the wrongful death of his mother.

Health Care and Retirement Corporation of America, Heartland Employment Services, Danny Davis and Vivian Kiraly were also named as defendants in the suit.

Opal Estep was a resident of Heartland of Charleston from Jan. 6, 2003, until her death on July 27, 2008, according to a complaint filed May 27 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Dwight Johnson claims the defendants accelerated the deterioration of Estep's health and physical condition beyond that caused by the normal aging process and resulted in physical and emotional trauma, including urinary tract infections, dehydration, malnutrition, fractured bones, infections and eventual death.

The defendants were aware of the systemic staffing problems at the Heartland of Charleston throughout Estep's residency, according to the suit.

Johnson claims the defendants are responsible for Estep's death.

Johnson is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. He is being represented by James B. McHugh, Michael J. Fuller Jr. and Amy J. Quezon.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Paul Zakaib Jr.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 10-C-950

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