Family of stabbing victim sues hospital, doctor for man's death

Kelly Holleran Feb. 24, 2009, 5:25am

Five heirs of a deceased man have filed suit against Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital and one of its doctors, alleging that because of the caregiver's negligence the man died from a stab wound in the back.

Deliiala Camille Lemon, Kaliliala Chamille Lemon, Kristian Germane Lemon, Lashudrea Noel Lemon and Bobby Ward Rideaux claim Thorne Covair Lemon was taken to Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital on March 6, 2007, for a stab wound in his back.

Dr. Leroy Paul Foster Jr. was the physician who treated Lemon, according to the complaint filed Feb. 19 in Jefferson County District Court.

However, Lemon died on the same day because of the doctor's and hospital's negligence, the suit alleges.

Because of Lemon's death, the plaintiffs claim they experienced physical pain, suffering and mental anguish.

They also lost his companionship, society, household services and inheritance, incurred funeral expenses and out-of-pocket expenses and lost parental consortium, according to the complaint.

Foster and Christus were negligent by failing to warn Lemon of the dangers resulting from their incompetent treatment and by failing to properly perform the medical treatment according to standards set by the medical profession, the plaintiffs allege.

They also negligently failed to recognize Lemon's symptoms that resulted from their treatment, failed to inform him of his true physical state, failed to disclose the risks of the stab wound and failed to engage in acceptable practices to limit the likelihood of infection, according to the complaint.

Foster and Christus also were negligent by failing to consult a specialist, the suit states.

"To the extent that the Plaintiffs are unable to fully or accurately describe the specific acts or omissions on the part of the Defendants that caused Thorne Covair Lemon's death, nonetheless the instrumentalities that caused the death were under the exclusive management and control of the Defendants at the time Thorne Covair Lemon died," the suit states.

The plaintiffs are seeking exemplary damages, plus pre-judgment interest at the maximum rate, post-judgment interest at the legal rate, costs and other relief to which they are entitled.

They are represented by Joseph O. Onwuteaka of the Law Office of Joseph Onwuteaka in Houston.

The case has been assigned to Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th District Court.

Case No. D183-317

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