Widow sues MedExpress over spouse’s death
08/23/2013 - The Charleston Daily Mail. By Cheryl Caswell.
CHARLESTON - A St. Albans woman blames a local urgent care facility for her husband's death and has filed a lawsuit in circuit court.
Joyce Minnich, the widow of Andrew Minnich, 71, alleges that injuries he suffered in a fall at the MedExpress Urgent Care in South Charleston led to his death.
Minnich took him there in January for an evaluation. The couple believed he might be coming down with pneumonia, but he fell in an exam room before he was seen by a medical staff member.
According to the complaint, Minnich was recovering from hip surgery and was feeling weak. He had recently stopped using a walker.
After taking a medical history, a staff member at MedExpress put the couple in an exam room, directed him to get up on the table and then left the room.
His weakened condition and his difficulty getting around was obvious, the widow said in the lawsuit.
In his attempt to get up onto that table, Andrew Minnich fell back and both he and his wife fell to the floor. She says she suffered a hematoma and a knot on her head and her husband received a hematoma, a brain bleed and a laceration to his arm.
Minnich also said in the complaint that the step on the exam table was not fully extended. She contends that his pain, suffering and injury contributed to and/or resulted in his death exactly three months later. He died at Charleston Area Medical Center.
Minnich alleges negligence on the part of MedExpress and believes they should have assisted him onto the exam table to prevent the injuries.
She is suing for medical expenses, funeral expenses, loss of income and benefits, mental anguish and emotional distress.
Charleston attorney John Tinney filed the lawsuit on Aug. 11 on behalf of Minnich. The case has been assigned to Kanawha Circuit Judge Charlie King.
MedExpress is based in Morgantown and operates 20 urgent care centers in West Virginia. It also has facilities in eight other states.
The company did not return a request for a comment on the lawsuit.