Woman blames WVU Medical Corporation for son's injuries

By Kyla Asbury | Aug 16, 2013

MORGANTOWN - A woman is suing West Virginia University Medical Corporation for failing to diagnose her son's brain cancer and causing him severe injuries.

Dr. Jose J. Ventosa; University of West Virginia Board of Governors; and West Virginia University Medical Corporation, which is doing business as University Health Associates, were all named as defendants in the suit.

On March 16, 2010, Wesley Shane Powell became Ventosa's patient and was diagnosed with Petite Mal Epilepsy, according to a complaint filed Aug. 1 in Monongalia Circuit Court.

Cinthia Powell, Wesley Powell's mother, claims Ventosa ordered an EEG, which was interpreted as abnormal, and prescribed him with Lamictal.

Ventosa saw Wesley Powell on other occasions and on June 4, 2010, made a referral to physicians and healthcare providers at the Wheeling Hospital Pediatric Neurological Outreach Clinic, where he was seen on Aug. 10, 2010, according to the suit.

Cinthia Powell claims the defendants took no action except to continue the use of Lamictal.

Following the defendants' failure and refusal to order or undertake any diagnostic procedure to definitively diagnose the basis for Wesley Powell's seizures, his father took him to Ohio Valley Medical Center and requested a brain MRI, which was performed on May 20, 2011, according to the suit.

Cinthia Powell claims the MRI demonstrated a large tumor in the right parietal-temporal region with extension into the right lateral ventricle, which had extensively spread throughout the cerebrospinal fluid spaces of the central nervous system.

As a direct result of the MRI findings, Wesley Powell was emergently hospitalized and required to undergo partial resection and removal of the primary tumor from his brain the following day and the surgery left him paralyzed and wheelchair-bound, according to the suit.

Cinthia Powell claims the brain tumor was reviewed by pathologists and the final diagnosis was Stage IV cancer of the brain, specifically a Mixed Glial and Neuronal Neoplasm with focal necrosis and 1 percent M1B-1 activity.

The defendants negligently failed to obtain a brain MRI or other radiological films at the initial presentation of seizures, according to the suit.

Cinthia Powell claims as a result of the defendants' negligence, Wesley Powell has sustained severe, permanent and life-threatening damages.

As a direct and proximate result of the negligence, recklessness and deviation of acceptable standards of care, Cinthia Powell and Wesley Powell have sustained doctor, hospital and medical bills; pain, suffering and mental anguish; pecuniary losses; loss of ability to enjoy life; scarring and disfigurement; humiliation and embarrassment; and permanent and irreversible terminal conditions, according to the suit.

Cinthia Powell is seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. She is being represented by Wesley Metheney of Wilson Frame & Metheney PLLC and C. Richard Wilson of Wilson Law Offices.

Monongalia Circuit Court case number: 13-C-556

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