Man blames relative’s choking death on hospital negligence

By Robert Hadley | May 3, 2016

HUNTINGTON – A Cabell County man says hospital workers failed to monitor his relative’s feeding tube, allowing her to choke to death.

HUNTINGTON – A Cabell County man says hospital workers failed to monitor his relative’s feeding tube, allowing her to choke to death.

Lewis Phillips, individually and as administrator of the estate of Paula Denise Phillips, filed a lawsuit April 4 in Cabell Circuit Court against Cabell Huntington Hospital Inc. and University Physicians and Surgeons Inc., alleging professional malpractice, negligence and wrongful death.

According to the complaint, Paula Phillips was morbidly obese and suffered from an abdominal hernia when she was a patient at Cabell Huntington Hospital. The suit says hospital staff failed to adequately monitor her condition and allowed her feeding tube to become dislodged, directing her liquid diet into her lungs instead of her stomach. By the time the mistake was discovered, the plaintiff says, her condition had become terminal.


Phillips seeks a jury trial, punitive and compensatory damages, interest and litigation costs. He is represented by attorney Robert P. Welsh of The Masters Law Firm L.C. in Charleston.

Judge F. Jane Hustead is assigned to the case.

Cabell Circuit Court Case number 16-C-237

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