CHARLESTON – A man is suing a physician he claims is responsible for his wife’s wrongful death.

On Feb. 20, 2104, Vicky Walker presented to the office of Dr. Paul C. Bown for evaluation of a paraesophogeal hernia with partial gastric volvulus, according to a complaint filed in Kanawha Circuit Court.

James M. Walker claims on March 18, 2014, Bown performed surgery on his wife to repair the paraesophogeal hernia with mesh and a gastric wrap and, during the surgery, the hernia was reduce, the short gastric vessels were divided and the hernia sac was removed.

A window was then creased behind the esophagus and, because the diaphragmatic defect could not be closed primarily, a biologic mesh was used to cover the defect, according to the suit.

James Walker claims on July 31, 2014, Vicky Walker had a repeat abdominal and pelvic CT scan that showed that the hernia repair surgery had failed and she had a recurrent hiatal hernia and the presence of a prior Nissen Fundoplication and was scheduled for surgery again, and then rescheduled for Oct. 1, 2014, due to a respiratory infection.

On Sept. 21, 2014, before the surgery could take place, Vicky Walker presented to Cabell Huntington Hospital Emergency Department with complaints of sudden onset of severe pain and vomiting which had begun several hours earlier after eating dinner and Bown was consulted and saw her the following day, according to the suit.

James Walker claims he scheduled her for surgery for Sept. 23, 2014, to repair the hiatal hernia and the morning of the surgery, her condition began to deteriorate and she coded and was resuscitated.

Bown performed an upper endoscopy at her bedside, which confirmed the presence of gastric ischemia and, before he could perform surgery, Vicky Walker died at 2:15 p.m., according to the suit.

James Walker claims Bown was negligent and violated the applicable standard of care by failing to operate on Sept. 21, 2014, or Sept. 22, 2014, once the diagnosis was highly suspected and/or confirmed.

Bown was also negligent in performance of the first operation in March 2014, which ultimately caused and contributed to her September 2014 death, according to the suit.

James Walker is seeking compensatory damages with pre-judgment interest. He is being represented by Arden J. Curry II and Susan C. Brasselle of Pauley Curry PLLC.

The case is assigned to Circuit Judge James C. Stucky.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 16-C-759

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