Court enters default judgment in Charleston man's death of more than $400,000

By Kyla Asbury | Apr 4, 2011

CHARLESTON -- A final order in a 2008 lawsuit involving the death of a Charleston man was issued March 7 for damages of more than $400,000.

In December 2006, Tyrus Campbell was seen in the Emergency Room at Thomas Memorial Hospital for shortness of breath.

Dr. Emad Adnan Kowatli performed a thoracentesis on Campbell. Two days later, Campbell died from bleeding into his chest.

Charleston attorney Matthew C. Lindsay said the interesting part of the case was that Kowalti left for Dubai, United Arab Emirates, not long after Campbell's death. Nonetheless, Brenda Raynes, Campbell's daughter, was still able to secure a default judgment against the physician.

On Dec. 7, 2010, Raynes presented testimony on the issue of damages. Kowatli was provided adequate notice of the hearing, but failed to appear at the hearing. Because of this, the court granted default judgment against Kowatli for failure to engage in discovery or participate in the civil process.

Kowatli was afforded every opportunity to participate in the civil process, present a defense of otherwise be heard by the court, but failed to appear in person or by counsel, according to the order.

The Court ordered economic damages in the amount of $21,697, and non-economic damages in the amount of $387,500, to be paid to Campbell's Estate.

Circuit Judge Tod J. Kaufman presided over the case. Raynes was represented by Lindsay and Richard D. Lindsay.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 08-C-3314

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