Kyle Barnett Jun. 16, 2014, 6:38am


GRETNA – A Mississippi man is suing a local hospital where he was under care for a seizure when he was allegedly allowed to fall out of a bed when he suffered another seizure.

Jack Wheeler, and wife Jackie, filed suit against Jefferson Parish Hospital No. 1 and West Jefferson Medical Center in the 24th Judicial District Court on May 22.

Wheeler, who has a history of epileptic seizures, alleges that on Dec. 21, 2011 he was taken to the emergency room at West Jefferson Medical Center from an offshore oil platform where he had been working. The plaintiff claims that while he was working he had symptoms that would indicate he had a seizure including becoming rigid and shaking on at least two occasions. Wheeler asserts that when he arrived at West Jefferson Medical Center he was told he was suffering from dehydration, however, he showed a nurse documentation showing that he had actually suffered symptoms of a seizure.

The plaintiff alleges he later underwent CT scans that showed he in fact had a seizure. Wheeler claims that after undergoing the scan the hospital staff failed to ensure his bedrails were up and he suffered another seizure and fell to the floor that was witnessed by one of his co-workers who was visiting at the time. The plaintiff asserts that he was treated for trauma including a laceration and bruising to his right eye and that he also complained of soreness in his ribs. Wheeler claims that it was later found that in the fall he bruised his brain and broke two ribs.

The defendant is accused of failing to take proper precautions for seizures and failing to follow generally accepted technique of keeping bed rails in an upright position when dealing with seizure patients.

An unspecified amount in damages is sought by the plaintiff.

Wheeler is represented by Kurt A. Offner of Metairie-based Offner, Scott & Inzina APLC.

The case has been assigned to Division I Judge Nancy A. Miller.

Case no. 738-802.

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