Family sues physician, River Park Hospital for death

By Kyla Asbury | Jun 24, 2011

HUNTINGTON -- The family of a Cabell County woman is suing HHC River Park, Inc., and a Huntington physician after it claims they are responsible for the death of their family member.

HHC River Park, Inc., is doing business as River Park Hospital, according to the suit.

On April 19, 2009, Kimberly S. Tickle was transferred to River Park Hospital and was put under the care of Dr. Phillip R. Spangler pursuant to a Cabell County Mental Hygiene Order because of her history of at least three prior suicide attempts, according to a complaint filed May 18 in Cabell Circuit Court.

Donnetta S. Craig, Tickle's sister; MacKenzie Tickle, her daughter; and Mark Tickle, MacKenzie Tickle's father, claim the defendants discharged Kimberly Tickle on April 23, 2009, but her mental health continued to decline and she was found dead on May 20, 2009, having committed suicide.

At the time of her discharge, Kimberly Tickle had an atypical bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder, which is indicative of highly unstable psychiatric traits dictating strict in-patient oversight, according to the suit.

The plaintiffs claim the defendants failed to institute a more invasive in-patient treatment program based upon her illnesses and prematurely discharged her from the hospital.

The plaintiffs are seeking compensatory and punitive damages. They are being represented by Jon D. Hoover.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge David M. Pancake.

Cabell Circuit Court case number: 11-C-319

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