Bluefield woman awarded nearly $5.8M in medical malpractice suit

BLUEFIELD, WV (BY: LACIE PIERSON, CHARLESTON GAZETTE-MAIL) – A Bluefield woman was awarded nearly $5.8 million last week, after a jury found that a doctor damaged nerves in her throat and caused her “permanent, severe and debilitating” injuries that required a tracheotomy.

One of Dominique Adkins’ lawyers said the jury award was one of the largest in the state since 2003, when West Virginia legislators instituted caps on medical malpractice judgments. Because of those caps, Adkins will see a fraction of the money the jury awarded her.

Adkins sued Dr. Michael Covelli in March 2016, saying he was negligent during her thyroidectomy on Feb. 25, 2014, in Charleston. She alleged Covelli didn’t take steps necessary to prevent injury to her laryngeal nerves.

 Adkins, who was 38 at the time of the surgery, was diagnosed with vocal cord paralysis, and she had a permanent tracheotomy about nine months after her surgery, her lawyer, Richard Lindsay II, said.
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