Suit blames doctors for missing woman's intestinal obstruction

Kelly Holleran Aug. 30, 2010, 6:43am

An Orange County woman and her husband have filed suit against a Beaumont hospital and doctors who failed to timely diagnose the woman with an intestinal obstruction.

Martha Thomas claims she was admitted to defendant Christus Hospital St. Elizabeth on June 7, 2008, with complaints of abdominal pain and tenderness, flank pain and shortness of breath.

While at the hospital, defendant Dr. Sei Chang Oh treated Thomas and consulted with defendant Drs. Daniel P. Stagg and Brent W. Bost regarding Thomas' condition, according to the complaint filed Aug. 19 in Jefferson County District Court.

However, all three doctors failed to recognize Thomas' symptoms of ileus, a life-threatening condition characterized by an intestinal blockage, the suit states.

Instead, they rendered inappropriate treatment and discharged Thomas from the hospital, the complaint says.

Because of the doctors' mistreatment, Thomas claims she incurred additional medical costs, incurred psychological bills and suffered disfigurement. In addition, she lost wages and suffered mental anguish and physical impairment, according to the complaint.

Thomas' husband and co-plaintiff, Foy Willey, suffered a loss of his wife's consortium, inheritance and household services, the suit states.

The plaintiffs blame the doctors for causing Thomas' medical damages, saying the doctors negligently failed to exercise ordinary care, failed to provide adequate care, failed to adequately diagnose and treat Thomas' ileus, failed to perform proper tests to rule out ileus, failed to follow up on tests and failed to report the presence of ileus.

In their complaint, the plaintiffs are seeking a judgment in excess of the minimum jurisdictional limits of Jefferson County District Court, plus costs, pre- and post-judgment interest and other relief the court deems just.

Sandee L. Hart of Orange will be representing them.

The case has been assigned to Judge Bob Wortham, 58th District Court.

Jefferson County District Court case number: A187-710.

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