Recent Cases

Recent Cases

Hartley Law Group, PLLC

Discover the latest news and information regarding cases handled by Hartley Law Group, PLLC.

W.Va. Supreme Court of Appeals Affirms Three Benzene-Related Workers’ Compensation Claims -- Workers Now Receive Disability, Medical and Other Benefits

Hartley Law Group, PLLC successfully defended three separate workers’ compensation appeal claims on behalf of workers in the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals which had resulted from benzene exposure at the PPG Industries’ Natrium facility and/or the Mobay/Covestro New Martinsville facility.  Two workers contracted chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and one worker contracted chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML).  Two of the workers were employed by PPG Industries as chemical workers and the third was a journeyman electrician working at both the PPG and Mobay/Covestro facilities.  Each experienced significant exposure to benzene – some of the exposures were even described by the employers’ expert as “overexposure”.  Relying on an industrial hygienist, toxicologist, hematologists/oncologists, and occupational physicians each claimant established his exposure on the job resulted in the development of injuries “in the course of and as a result of” their employment and affirmations of their workers compensation awards.  Hartley Law Group also filed civil actions on behalf of each worker and was successful in each of those lawsuits as well. PPG Industries, Inc. v. Douglas Steele, No. 21-0231(W.Va. Supreme Court, February 10, 2023)(memorandum decision); Chapman Corporation v. Teddy Kemp, No. 21-0501 (W.Va. Supreme Court, April 5, 2023)(memorandum decision); PPG Industries, Inc. v. David O. Wells, No. 21-0232 (W.Va. Supreme Court, February 10, 2023) (memorandum decision).

Read More about PPG Industries, Inc. v. Douglas Steele, Click here.

Read More About Chapman Corporation v. Teddy Kemp, Click Here.

Read More About PPG Industries, Inc. v. David O. Wells, Click Here.

Daniel A. Winland v. AIR & Liquid Systems Corporation, et al. Case

Raised like brothers and life-long neighbors, Dan Winland developed the same unique and deadly disease as his best friend, a prior Hartley Law Group client.  Dan Winland was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, which is a signature disease for asbestos exposure.  Both men worked at Ormet in Hannibal, Ohio.  The case is set for trial in February 2024 in West Virginia’s Exigent Docket.

For Full Complaint, Click Here.

Beth George v. Leela Patel, M.D., and Kroger Pharmacy in Charleston, West Virginia

Beth George is suing her primary care physician, Leela Patel, M.D., and Kroger Pharmacy in Charleston, West Virginia because of injuries she suffered after being administered three vaccines at the same time. R. Dean Hartley and Mark R. Staun of Hartley Law Group, PLLC are representing Ms. George.

What Prompted the Filing of the Suit?

Ms. George had a history of hypothyroidism, Addison’s Disease and being immune compromised from long-term corticosteroid use. She had a telemedicine visit with Dr. Patel on November 25, 2020. She was advised to get the three vaccinations: a flu shot, Prevnar 13 and a shingles vaccine. Dr. Patel did not tell her to space out the vaccines. Five days later, Ms. George went to the Kroger at Ashton Place in Charleston to get the three vaccinations. The registered pharmacist at Kroger would have had to approve her being administered the three vaccines, which were Flublok Quad 2020-2021, Pneumovax 23 and Shingrix.

On December 3, 2020, Ms. George had another telemedicine appointment with Dr. Patel and reported symptoms that started after the received the three vaccines. She reported malaise, sore throat, nausea and vomiting. She also said she wasn’t sleeping well, was fatigued and had loose stools for one day. Dr. Patel prescribed Zofran for the nausea and Pepcid and told George to go to the ER if her symptoms didn’t improve because of her underlying Addison’s Disease. Two days later, Ms. George presented to Charleston Area Medical Center’s ER. She was admitted for four days. Her charts show she had intermittent slurred speech, her TSH was elevated at over 15, and she had acute kidney injury with a creatinine greater than 6. She was diagnosed with acute adrenal crisis, hypothyroidism and acute renal failure.

Ms. George Is Owed a Duty of Care by Her Physicians

In personal injury cases, four elements of negligence must be proven, including that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care and violated that duty. We are fighting to prove that Dr. Patel and the Kroger Pharmacy acted negligently in failing to space out her vaccinations, as they can act as a stressor on someone who is immunocompromised and cause acute adrenal crisis. Ms. George is asking for compensatory damages with interest. To stay up-to-date on the case, you can review the court documents. The case is being tried in the Circuit Court of Kanawha County Circuit Court (case number 23-C-296).

See Full Complaint Here.

Hartley Law Group, PLLC recently filed a Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) lawsuit on behalf of a retired CSX Transportation maintenance of way employee.  The trackman developed kidney cancer (renal cell carcinoma) after 25+ years working for CSX in West Virginia. The plaintiff alleges that CSX failed to provide a safe place to work and as a result he was exposed to dangerous and toxic substances and chemicals, including diesel fuel, diesel fumes and exhaust, creosote, silica, dust, and herbicides and pesticides as well as other occupational fumes, dusts, gases, and other cancer causing agents working on, with and around tie machines, rail laying machines, back hoes, tamper machines, spiker machines, scarfars, and air compressors during his railroad employment causing his kidney cancer. Jerry A. Browning v. CSX Transportation Inc., Kanawha County, W.Va. Circuit Court, Civil Action No. 23-C-21.

 See the Complaint here.

Hartley Law Group, PLLC Represents a Client Injured in Medical Procedure

Dencil M. McGrew is suing his physician, Nathan R. Hatfield, because of injuries he suffered while undergoing a CT-guided biopsy. R. Dean Hartley and Mark R. Staun of Hartley Law Group, PLLC are representing McGrew alongside an attorney from Blaydes Law. 

Read our blog for more details.

For Full Complaint, Click Here. 

Hartley Law Group, PLLC and Motley Rice LLC filed a Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) lawsuit on behalf of a retired Norfolk Southern Maintenance of Way employee who developed Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) after 30+ years working for Norfolk Southern in the states of South Carolina, Virginia, North Carolina, and Georgia. The plaintiff alleges that he was exposed to dangerous and toxic substances and chemicals, including diesel exhaust, creosote, secondhand tobacco smoke, gasoline exhaust, gasoline, welding fumes, benzene-containing substances, solvents, dusts, herbicides, and pesticides during his railroad employment. Ricky H. Simpson v. Norfolk Southern Railway Company, South Carolina Court of Common Pleas (Greenville County), Civil Action No. 2021-CP-23-03004. 

For Full Complaint, Click Here.

Family files asbestos wrongful death suit based upon the worker’s development of malignant mesothelioma, as a result of his many years of exposure to asbestos as a pipefitter. Hartley Law Group, PLLC represents the Plaintiff.

Logan man alleges skin cancer and lung disease caused by exposure during reclamation jobs. Hartley Law Group, PLLC is representing the plaintiffs.     

"Jack D. Parsley and Vicki L. Parsley filed a complaint Aug. 31 in Logan Circuit Court against Blackhawk Mining LLC, Virginia Conservation Legacy Fund Inc., ERP Compliant Fuels LLC, Laurel Coal Corp. and Dennis Wellman alleging premises liability and loss of consortium. The plaintiffs request a trial by jury and seek compensatory damages, all legal fees and any other relief as the court deems just. They are represented by R. Dean Hartley and Mark R. Staun of Hartley Law Group PLLC in Wheeling. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Joshua Butcher."     

Read more of this article here.

For Full Complaint, Click Here. 

Tazewell County Woman Files Lawsuit for Botched Total Knee Replacement

Hartley Law Group, PLLC recently filed a medical negligence lawsuit on behalf of a Tazewell County, Virginia woman as a result of negligent performance of total knee replacement by her orthopedic surgeon. Plaintiff's orthopedic surgeon told plaintiff that she was to receive a "custom knee" with manufactured cutting guides made just for her. She underwent a spiral CT Scan which was sent to Consensus Orthopedics. The CT Scan was not of good quality and thus no custom cutting guides were made. Plaintiff was never told about the failed CT Scan and after the surgery suffered three tibia/femur dislocations. Plaintiff had to have a second total knee replacement performed by another surgeon due to the instability of the original knee. The medical negligence case against Dr. Gary McCarthy from Bluefield, West Virginia alleges a failure to properly plan the surgery and failure to properly "balance" the plaintiff's knee at the time of surgery causing three unnecessary dislocations and hospitalizations and a subsequent revision. Richardson v. Gary Patrick McCarthy, M.D., et al. Mercer County, West Virginia Circuit Court, Civil Action No. 14-C-547-OA.

For Full Complaint, Click Here. 

Raleigh County Couple Files Lawsuit against Radiologists for Misdiagnosis.

Hartley Law Group, PLLC and Katz, Kantor, Stonestreet and Buckner recently filed a medical negligence lawsuit on behalf of a Raleigh County couple as a result of two separate radiologists’ failure to a diagnose a thoracic fracture. Plaintiff fell in late 2011, and x-rays demonstrated he had fractured three ribs. About month after the fall, he presented to Raleigh General Hospital emergency department with back spasms and chest pain so severe that he was unable to change position or walk. Radiologic studies were ordered and read by Paul Ratcliff, D.O. and Richard Daniel, M.D. of Raleigh Radiology, Inc. While the studies demonstrated a fracture of the thoracic spine, neither radiologist reported a T-8 fracture or deformity. Plaintiff was sent home with a clinical diagnosis of chest pain. His back spasms and back pain continued over the next year until finally another x-ray series was performed. Once again Dr. Ratcliff read the films. In comparing the previous-years studies with the present studies, Dr. Ratcliff reported an “Anterior wedge compression fracture of T-8. There has been a worsening over the past year.” The medical negligence case against Drs. Ratcliff and Daniel alleges a failure to diagnose a thoracic fracture on both x-rays and CT scan in 2011, and that the delay in diagnosis led to an inability to do surgical revision and permanent damage. Suit was filed in Raleigh County, West Virginia Circuit Court. Nelson, et ux. v. Raleigh Radiology, Inc., Paul D. Ratcliff, Jr., D.O., and C. Richard Daniel, Jr., M.D., Raleigh County, West Virginia Circuit Court, Civil Action No.: 15-C-220.

For Full Complaint, Click Here.

Ohio County Miner Sues Employer, Tunnel Ridge, for Severe Injuries Received in Mining Accident.

Hartley Law Group, PLLC recently filed a lawsuit on behalf of a Wheeling man who was severely and permanently injured when he was struck by a two (2) inch thick steel braided hose that snapped during a long wall mining teardown operation. The accepted and well-known safe practice for hose recovery during a long-wall mining machine move from one section of the mine to another section of the mine requires employees to break the hose apart into smaller sections at its connections, and roll each hose section up individually as the employees move along the complete hose. In this case, the mining foreman decided to recover the hoses by utilizing an unauthorized and/or inappropriate recovery method which included dragging the entire hose from one section of the mine to another section of mine in an attempt to complete the hose recovery task quickly. Using a sling strap tied to a scoop car battery pit connected to the hoses, the process pulled the hoses from one section to another, around a corner. The sling strap that was improperly holding the hose to the scoop car battery pit failed, releasing the built-up energy of the stretched hose, allowing it to whip and strike the worker standing in an adjacent crosscut. As a result, he suffered a compound fracture of the left lower leg, tibia, and fibula; dislocated left shoulder; torn left shoulder rotator cuff; fractured vertebrae 6 and 7; numerous cuts and bruises; concussion; and leg infections which required several additional surgeries, including a muscle graft and skin flap procedure. Bonitatibus, et ux. v. Tunnel Ridge LLC, et al., Ohio County, West Virginia Circuit Court, Civil Action No.: 15-C-123-MJG

For Full Complaint, Click Here. 

Parkersburg Man Files Lawsuit Against Real Estate Developers for Causing Hazardous Fungi Dust to Invade his Home.

Hartley Law Group, PLLC recently filed a lawsuit on behalf of a Parkersburg man who developed mucormycosis, a severe fungal infection, as a result of several developers' negligence, trespass, and nuisance. The Defendant developers negligently engaged in, supervised, directed, and advised demolition, excavation, and construction operations on properties immediately adjacent to the Plaintiff's home, which caused dust containing various materials, specifically mucoromycotina fungi, to invade the Plaintiff's property and home. As a result, Plaintiff was exposed to the fungus and suffered severe and permanent injury, disfigurement, disability, and property damage. Most notably, the Plaintiff lost his left eye and palate to the fungal disease. Loscar v. Castle Ventures II, LLC, et al., Monongalia County, West Virginia Circuit Court, Civil Action No.: 14-C-902.

For Full Complaint, Click Here.

Raleigh County Woman Files Lawsuit on behalf of Estate of Joel Dew against Emergency Room Physician Steven Harry Nathanson, M.D. for Mr. Dew’s Wrongful Death

Hartley Law Group, PLLC recently filed a medical negligence lawsuit on behalf of the Estate of Joel Dew in the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia. Mr. Dew had been fevered and vomiting for several days when he was involved in a single vehicle car accident. Mr. Dew was found to be disoriented at the crash scene, unable to tell EMS personnel or the police where he was going. He was taken to Raleigh General Hospital in Beckley, West Virginia and was seen by Emergency Room physician Stephen Harry Nathanson, M.D. Mr. Dew was confused, sweating, fevered and had abnormal blood and urine tests indicating a possible infectious process. Dr. Nathanson ordered fluids and pain medication and set Mr. Dew home with no investigation as to his abnormal lab values.

Two days later Mr. Dew was so lethargic and ill that an ambulance was called to his home and he was taken back to Raleigh General Hospital where he was seen once again by Dr. Nathanson. This time a CT Scan was ordered which showed a brain bleed. Mr. Dew was ungently transported to Charleston Area Medical Center where he died later that day. An autopsy revealed that Mr. Dew had overwhelming sepsis throughout his body. Mandevillev. Steven Harry Nathanson, M.D. and Southeastern Emergency Physicians, PLLC. USDC Southern District of West Virginia, at Beckley Civil Action No.: 5:14-cv-25013.

Mobay Employee Files Suit Based on Asbestos Exposure

Hartley Law Group, PLLC recently filed a lawsuit on behalf of a former Mobay employee who was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma. The worker was exposed to asbestos while working in the boiler house and as an operator in various departments of Mobay's New Martinsville, West Virginia plant. Defendants include: Bayer f/k/a Miles, Inc. and successor-n-interest to Bayer U.S.A. and Mobay Inc., and various asbestos suppliers. The case is scheduled for trial in February 2015. Allen, et al. v. Bayer, et al., Kanawha County, W. Va. Circuit Court Action No. 14-C84 MSH.

Read more about this case here.

Wheeling Family Files Lawsuit against Wheeling Hospital for IV Kidney Damage and Wrongful Death

Hartley Law Group, PLLC recently filed a wrongful death civil lawsuit on behalf of a Wheeling family in Ohio County, West Virginia Circuit Court as a result of the care a family member received at Wheeling Hospital. The decedent presented to the emergency department in pain and was having a difficult time walking. The admitting and attending doctor ordered a CT scan with IV contrast despite the fact the situation was not of an emergency nature, and the decedent's medical history demonstrated she was at risk for kidney damage from IV contrast medium.

The decedent explained to the radiology technician before the procedure that when IV contrast was ordered in the past she was given protective treatment to prevent the potential kidney damage. The radiology technician failed to contact the ordering physicians, and conducted the CT scan with contrast as ordered. The decedent developed acute renal failure along with a host of other medical problems and conditions and ultimately died on June 29, 2013. Defendants include: Bernice F. Lim, M.D., James L. Comerci, M.D., and Wheeling Hospital, Inc. Taylor, as Executor of the Estate of Sharon Ann Taylor, Ohio County, West Virginia Circuit Court, Civil Action No.: 14-C-225-MJG.

Read more about this case here.

Ball Aerosol Workers File Suit Based on Toxic Solvent Exposure

Hartley Law Group, PLLC and Fitzsimmons Law Firm recently filed a lawsuit on behalf of two employees of Ball Aerosol and Specialty Container, Inc. f/k/a U.S. Can Company in the Circuit Court of Brooke County, West Virginia. Both workers were exposed to various toxic solvent fumes and vapors while performing their job duties at Ball Aerosol's Brooke County facility where metal is coated with paints and finishes. One worker has developed chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) and the other worker has developed poorly differentiated adenocarcinoma of the sigmoid colon. Defendants include: Ball Aerosol and Specialty Container, Inc., Sal Chemical Co., Inc., and Chemical Solvents, Inc. among others. Mark A. Fitzpatrick, et al.v. Sal Chemical Co., Inc., et al., Brooke County, W.Va. Circuit Court Civil Action No. 14-C-74.

For Full Complaint, Click Here. 

Ohio Family Files Lawsuit – Benzene and Formaldehyde Induced Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML)

Hartley Law Group, PLLC , recently filed a lawsuit on behalf of a chemical worker employed by Bayer Corporation in New Martinsville, West Virginia. Between 1957 and his retirement in 1994, the decedent's work brought him into contact with benzene and formaldehyde. In early 2012 he developed AML and passed in the summer of that year. Benzene and formaldehyde have been designated as causative agents for AML by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Defendants include: Shell Chemical, Tauber Oil, Tenneco Oil Company, Exxon Mobil, Valero Energy, BP Amoco, Sunoco, Ashland, Momentive Speciality Chemicals, and Celanese among others. Mark Ady, Executor of the Estate of Glenn Ady, v. Shell Chemical, et al., Marshall County, W.Va. Circuit Court Civil Action No. 14-C-51-K

Mercer County Woman Files Lawsuit against Bluefield, West Virginia Orthopedic Surgeon Walid Azzo, M.D. for failed ankle surgery.

Hartley Law Group, PLLC and the Bayless Law Firm recently filed a medical negligence lawsuit on behalf of a Mercer County woman as a result of multiple ankle surgeries performed by Walid Azzo, M.D. Suit was filed in Mercer County, West Virginia Circuit Court. The plaintiff fell on the ice at her home and was taken to Bluefield Regional Medical Center. Dr. Azzo was called to the Emergency Department by hospital personnel. Dr. Azzo performed a total of five surgical procedures on the plaintiff which culminated in the ankle fixation failing.

Dr. Azzo never ordered any post-operative x-rays and he concluded by a clinical exam that the plaintiff was doing well. No better, she sought consultation with another physician who took x-rays which revealed that there was malunion of the fracture. A biopsy of the ankle revealed and that she had a bone infection which necessitated a lengthy course of intravenous antibiotics. Ultimately, a salvage surgical procedure to fuse the bones of her foot took place. Reed v. Walid H. Azzo, M.D. and Azzo Orthopedics, PLLC , Mercer County, West Virginia Circuit Court, Civil Action No.: 14-C-472-DS.

Read more about this case here.


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