BECKLEY – A woman is suing a Virginia physician she claims is responsible for her mother’s death.

Lora Mae Burns was a resident of White Sulphur Springs Center from June 4, 2015, until Dec. 16, 2015, according to a complaint filed in Greenbrier Circuit Court and removed to federal court on May 2.

Rebecca Vance claims on July 17, 2015, Dr. Stephen Cohen performed an esophagogastroduodenscopy on Burns and during the procedure, Cohen repaired an ulcer in Burns’ stomach.

On Sept. 9, 2015, Cohen performed a second EDG, according to the suit. On Dec. 15, 2015, Cohen performed two final procedures on Burns.

Vance claims Cohen failed to confirm the prep procedures for the colonoscopy were completed on Burns and after 17 minutes, had to abort the procedure because Burns was not properly prepped.

Cohen then performed a PEG tube placement on Burns and failed to place a more secure surgical tube despite his personal knowledge of her medical history and predisposition concerning medical procedures and limited understanding of them, according to the suit.

Vance claims Cohen also failed Burns by releasing her to the nursing home despite a documented drop in her blood pressure.

Later that evening after Burns was discharged, the staff at White Sulphur Springs Center discovered that Burns had pulled the PEG tube out and she was transferred to Greenbrier Valley Emergency Department for treatment the following morning after she was discovered unresponsive and staff was unable to obtain her blood pressure, according to the suit.

Vance claims Burns was transferred to Charleston Area Medical Center, where she died at 11:42 p.m. on Dec. 16, 2015.

Cohen violated the West Virginia Medical Professional Liability Act and was negligent, according to the suit.

Vance is seeking compensatory damages. She is represented by Barry L. Bruce of Barry L. Bruce & Associates.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia case number: 5:18-cv-00888

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