CHARLESTON -- A Kanawha County woman is suing Charleston Area Medical Center after she claims it is responsible for her family member's death.

On April 25, 2009, Jason Smith was involved in an automobile accident and immediately was taken to the hospital and was admitted to the intensive care unit, according to a complaint filed Jan. 5 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Kathy Smith claims Jason Smith began to improve over the next several days, but on May 1, 2009, the nurses noted in his chart that he was sleepy and did not follow commands.

At that time, the nurse noted that he was more alert earlier in the day and stated that he was non-verbal, lethargic and had decreased levels of consciousness, according to the suit.

Kathy Smith claims over the next 24 hours, Jason Smith's symptoms progressed and went undiagnosed. She also claims the nurses failed to alert physicians regarding the changes throughout the night.

Jason Smith was suffering from small showers of pulmonary emboli and continued to do so throughout the day and night, according to the suit, and was left unattended in the intensive care unit, where he became unresponsive with bradycardia and died.

Kathy Smith claims the defendant failed to diagnose and/or treat the condition, did not order tests to diagnose the condition and did not implement any prophylactic measures to prevent the condition.

Kathy Smith is seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. She is being represented by William M. Tiano.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Carrie Webster.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 11-C-19

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