Man dies of MRSA after stay at V.A. hospital, wife claims in lawsuit

Kelly Holleran Aug. 19, 2014, 9:33am

The wife of a recently deceased man claims staff at Acuity Hospital of Houston failed to properly treat him for an MRSA infection, leading to his death.

Jewel Honey-Love filed a lawsuit July 29 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas Houston Division against the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Acuity Hospital of Houston. 

In her complaint, Honey-Love alleges her husband, Larry Lavon Love, was treated at Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans for various injuries, including an injured spinal cord hematoma, fractured left humerus, lacerated eye lid and corneal abrasion, which he sustained in a high-speed head-on collision May 22, 2009.

Later, because his injuries rendered him largely as a paraplegic, he was transferred to the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Houston.

During Love’s stay at the V.A. Medical Center, staff first noticed a stage II decubitus ulcer, which is characterized by damaged epidermis, a shallow and pinkish wound and a wound that may look like a fluid-filled blister, the complaint says. More than a month after doctors diagnosed Love with a decubitus ulcer did they perform surgery on him, his wife claims.

Not only did Love develop ulcers while staying at the V.A. Medical Center, but his health also deteriorated, according to the complaint.

On April 8, 2010, he was diagnosed positive for Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which caused him to become bedridden, the suit states. By Sept. 13, 2010, Love was discharged from the V.A. Medical Center and admitted to Acuity Hospital in Houston for ongoing wound care for his ulcers, the complaint says.

However, Acuity decided not to treat Love’s ulcers and returned him to the V.A. Medical Center on Oct. 12, 2010. After his return, Love became severely hypomagnesemic, as well as frustrated and depressed, his wife claims.

On May 11, 2011, Love died of MRSA pneumonia, according to the complaint.

Honey-Love accuses the defendants of negligence, saying they failed to properly care for her husband, failed to properly maintain his nutrition, failed to disclose his medical condition and failed to properly treat him, among other negligent actions.

Honey-Love seeks damages of at least $1,5 million and exemplary damages of $3 million, plus court costs, attorneys’ fees, exemplary damages and other relief the court deems just.

She is being represented by attorney William P. Ramey of Ramey & Browning in Houston.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas Houston Division case number 4:14-cv-02185

This is a report on a civil lawsuit filed at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas Houston Division. The details in this report come from an original complaint filed by a plaintiff. Please note that a complaint represents an accusation by a private individual, not the government. It is not an indication of guilt, and it represents only one side of the story.

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Organizations in this Story

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
810 Vermont Ave NW
Washington, DC 20420

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