CLARKSBURG — A lawsuit filed against the federal government for the wrongful death of a veteran who was given an insulin injection while he was at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
Melanie Proctor filed the lawsuit against the federal government and Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie on behalf of her deceased father, Felix Kirk McDermott on March 2 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia.
Proctor claims there was a noticeably high death rate in patients that were admitted to Floor 3A in the Louis A. Johnson VAMC in Clarksburg, especially during the nightshift on several dates between July 2017 and April 2018, which caused the deaths of multiple veterans.
McDermott was admitted to the VAMC on April 6, 2018, for shortness of breath and concerns for food aspiration pneumonia and he was placed on antibiotic therapy and two days later, the hospital discussed discharge with the family.
At 2 a.m. on April 9, 2018, McDermott was found in his hospital bed in what appeared to be pain before he became unresponsive and he was cold and clammy, according to the suit.
Proctor claims McDermott's finger stick showed that his blood sugar was 12 and Dr. Jill Taylor-Phillips could not understand the cause of McDermott's severe hypoglycemia.
Phillips decided to monitor McDermott's blood sugar and she did not perform any new testing and she did not perform any medical investigation to figure out the unexplained severe hypoglycemia, according to the suit.
Phillips waited for Dr. Maria Menez to assume care when her shift was up, but Menez also did not perform any new testing.
Proctor claims Phillips and Menez violated medical standards of care by failing to communicate the unexpected nature of the events surrounding McDermott's change in medical status to his daughters.
Proctor claims her father died at 9 a.m. and Menez wrongfully determined that he did not meet the criteria for referral to the State Medical Examiner.
Menez also failed to inform McDermott's family of the adverse sentinel event that caused his death, according to the suit.
Proctor claims her father's wrongful death was a foreseeable consequence of the defendant's negligence committed by its employees.
Proctor is seeking compensatory damages. She is represented by Tony L. O'Dell and Cheryl A. Fisher of Tiano O'Dell.
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia Case number: 1:20-cv-00037