CHARLESTON - A Boone County man is suing Thomas Memorial Hospital after he claims he was injured at its emergency room.

On Aug. 30, 2013, Stoney Vealey presented to TMH's emergency department with depression, suicidal thoughts and alcohol abuse, according to a complaint filed June 5 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Vealey claims at 9:38 p.m., a triage nurse, Kathryn King, performed an initial assessment of Vealey and assessed that he represented a significantly increased risk of complications or disabilities or impairment of bodily functions and was urgent.

King did not ask Vealey if he had the means to carry out suicide and if she had, she would have discovered that in addition to being intoxicated, Vealey also had a quantity of benzodiazepines on him, according to the suit.

Vealey claims the staff failed to provide him a safe and controlled environment for him while he waited to receive medical care.

The plaintiff was instead directed to the waiting room, where he could not receive periodic assessment and, in doing so, the defendant was generally negligent in operating and overseeing its emergency room staff and facilities, according to the suit.

Vealey claims at some point in the evening, loved ones called the hospital to inquire about Vealey's wellbeing and were informed by staff that they did not know where he was.

After midnight, Tamra Cowley and Connie Vealey discovered Stoney Vealey injured, unconscious and lying between parked cars, according to the suit.

Stoney Vealey claims he suffered a permanent and irreparable hypoxic/anoxic brain injury.

The hospital owed a duty to Stoney Vealey to provide oversight and management of the emergency room and to provide him with a safe environment.

Stoney Vealey is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. He is being represented by Robert P. Lorea and Katherine E. Charonko of Bailey & Glasser.

The case is assigned to Circuit Judge Louis Bloom.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 15-C-1119

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