HUNTINGTON – A man is suing the United States after he claims his son suffered severe injuries from a medical professional’s deviation from the standard of care.

On Dec. 12, 2014, 10-year-old R.E.C. presented to Valley Health Systems with complaints of his tooth being very painful and keeping him up at night, according to a complaint filed April 26 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia.

M. Edward Cunningham II claims his son had swelling in his face and neck and Dr. Kara Smith treated him by ordering an x-ray and then advised Cunningham that one of R.E.C.’s non-permanent teeth, a second-year molar, was the cause of the pain and should either be extracted or allowed to fall out naturally in the next two to three months.

With the consent of R.E.C.’s father, Smith extracted the tooth and, the following day, he had more swelling and, by Dec. 14, 2014, his pain and swelling had intensified, according to the suit.

Cunningham claims he was taken to MedExpress that day, but they were advised to see a dentist. R.E.C.’s mother called Valley Health and spoke with Dr. Daniel Brody, who reviewed the x-ray from two days prior, said that one of his permanent teeth, another molar, was the problem.

Brody called in prescriptions for R.E.C. and advised that he see his regular dentist in the morning, according to the suit.

Cunningham claims the following day, he saw Dr. Nancy Mussetter, who advised them that R.E.C. had a severe infection and immediately sent him to the emergency room at Cabell Huntington Hospital, where he was admitted and underwent multiple exams , as well as being taken to the operating room. He was discharged on Dec. 22, 2014.

“This medical professional liability action arises out of the medical care and treatment rendered to R.E.C. by defendant…its agents, servants and employees on or about December 12, 2014, and thereafter,” the complaint states.

Cunningham claims as a result of the negligence and deviation of the standard of care by the United States, R.E.C. sustained personal injuries and damages; sustained permanent injuries; incurred and will incur in the future hospital and medical bills and expenses; incurred and will incur pain of the body and mind; and was otherwise seriously and permanently injured.

Cunningham is seeking compensatory damages. He is being represented by Bert Ketchum of Greene, Ketchum, Bailey, Walker, Farrell & Tweel.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia case number: 3:17-cv-02521

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