Widower sues physician for wife's death

By Kyla Asbury | Jun 14, 2013

CHARLESTON - A widower is suing his wife's physician after he claims the physician caused his wife's death.

On March 23, 2012, Tracey Taylor was admitted to St. Francis Hospital's emergency room with complaints of abdominal pain and vaginal bleeding by Dr. Melvin Vidal, according to a complaint filed May 29 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

David Taylor claims following her admission, Vidal prescribed Dilaudid and in the early morning hours of March 24, 2012, while Tracey Taylor was sleeping in a non-monitored bed, she stopped breathing and died.

A nurse later found Tracey Taylor, and the Chief Medical Officer for the State of West Virginia performed an autopsy on her and reported she died as a result of being administered a "potent opioid to [a] non-tolerant, obese patient with sleep apnea," according to the suit.

David Taylor claims Vidal violated standards of care by prescribing Dilaudid to Tracey Taylor, given her medical history and by failing to direct that her respiratory system be monitored.

As a direct and proximate consequence of Vidal's malpractice, Tracey Taylor's respiratory system became depressed to the degree that she died in her sleep at the hospital, according to the suit.

David Taylor is seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. He is being represented by Stuart Calwell and David H. Carriger of the Calwell Practice PLLC.

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

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 13-C-1038

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