Woman blames CAMC, doctor for mother's death

By Kyla Asbury | Jul 21, 2011

CHARLESTON -- A Kanawha County woman is suing Charleston Area Medical Center after she claims the hospital is responsible for her mother's death.

Dr. Michael Sitler was also named as a defendant in the suit.

On May 7, 2009, Pinea Linville was a patient of the defendants and was diagnosed with having a urinary tract infection and hypoglycemia by Sitler, according to a complaint filed June 8 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Kathy Zahurancik claims Sitler ordered laboratory studies for Linville, including a urine culture and a blood culture, then discharged her with a prescription for Cipro 500 to treat the urinary tract infection.

Over the next two days Sitler was notified that Linville's blood culture and urine culture showed staphylococcus hominis and Escherichia coli, according to the suit.

Zahurancik claims that despite the fact that having Linville's home address and telephone number, as well as her own information, the defendants did not call and inform them of the lab results.

On May 13, 2009, the defendants sent a letter to Linville informing her of the results, instructions to stop taking Cipro 500, as the bacteria was resistant to the antibiotic and with a new prescription for Omnicef, according to the suit.

Zahurancik claims Omnicef is ineffective to treat staphylococcus hominis.

Linville did not receive the letter until May 30, 2009, when Zahurancik picked up the letter at the post office, according to the suit.

Zahurancik claims she immediately had the prescription filled and Linville began taking it.

On June 2, 2009, Linville was admitted to Charleston Area Medical Center for treatment of overwhelming sepsis secondary to her ineffectively treated urinary tract infection, according to the suit.

Zahurancik claims on June 8, 2009, her mother died of septic shock secondary to severe sepsis.

The defendants were negligent in their care for Linville, according to the suit.

Zahurancik claims the defendants failed to exercise a degree of care, skill and learning required or expected of reasonably prudent healthcare providers.

As a result of the defendants' negligence, Linville died, according to the suit.

Zahurancik is seeking compensatory damages with pre-judgment interest. She is being represented by John A. Kessler and Jeffrey T. Jones.

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

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 11-C-937

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