HUNTINGTON -- A Mingo County couple is suing St. Mary's Medical Center for negligence during a breast augmentation surgery.

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

On Feb. 4, 2010, Spindel performed a breast augmentation surgery at St. Mary's Medical Center on Paula Bench, according to a complaint filed May 25 in Cabell Circuit Court.

Bench claims almost immediately after the surgery she felt that something was wrong and she returned to Spindel and he suggested corrective surgery.

On May 25, 2010, Spindel performed the corrective surgery on Bench at no cost, according to the suit, but Spindel failed to advise her that he had severed the chest wall muscle.

Bench claims the problems continued to worsen until she sought the opinion of another plastic surgeon, who diagnosed her with symmastia.

The physician advised Bench that he could not perform the surgery that she would need and that it needed to be performed by a highly trained surgeon, according to the suit.

Bench claims she researched the matter and found that there was no such surgeon in West Virginia and that the closest one was located seven hours from her home.

The specialist determined that Bench will require one to two corrective surgeries which may or may not correct the damage, according to the suit.

Bench claims the condition of her breasts has significantly damaged her quality of life, caused emotional suffering, loss of consortium with her husband and has impacted her quality of life.

The negligent and/or reckless disregard of proper medical or plastic surgery protocol by the defendants in the cause of Bench's symmastia, according to the suit.

Bench and her husband, Marvin S. Bench, are seeking compensatory damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. They are being represented by Susan J. Van Zant.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge F. Jane Hustead.

Cabell Circuit Court case number: 12-C-340




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