Ky. man alleges child abuse at local hospital

April 6, 2019 GMT

CHARLESTON — A Kentucky man is suing Cabell Huntington Hospital, claiming his infant son suffered broken bones at the hands of an unknown hospital employee.

Ronald Cunagin, of Lovely, Kentucky, says his son suffered his injuries while he was in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the hospital in July and August 2017, according to the lawsuit filed Friday in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of West Virginia.

Cunagin is suing on the grounds of battery, intentional infliction of physical harm, negligent supervision, and intentional and negligent spoliation of evidence, according to the suit.

Cunagin is seeking damages including health care costs, pain and suffering, and emotional distress, as well as punitive damages from the hospital.

Cunagin’s son, identified by his initials, J.C., in the lawsuit, was born at Cabell Huntington in July 2017 and was admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, where he was a patient until Aug. 23, 2017, according to the lawsuit.

On Aug. 23, J.C. was flown to Pikeville Medical Center, in Pikeville, Kentucky, and subsequently transferred to a University of Kentucky Health Care facility and the Shriners Children Hospital, in Lexington, Kentucky, according to the suit. J.C. was discharged from the Shriners Children Hospital on Sept. 10, 2017, according to the lawsuit.

When J.C. was admitted to Pikeville Medical Center, physicians diagnosed him as having suffered three rib fractures, a broken arm and one fracture in each of his legs, the lawsuit claims.

Cunagin alleges his son suffered “illegal child abuse” at the hands of Cabell Huntington Hospital staff.

The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services concluded an investigation into his injuries. Among the investigation’s conclusions was only hospital staff had access to J.C., “leading the Cabinet to believe then an unknown person cause deliberate harm to the child,” the lawsuit stated.

J.C. also underwent genetic and other testing to determine whether he suffered from any health conditions that may make his bones weak and prone to fracture, but he was not diagnosed with any such condition, according to the lawsuit.

Calls to Cabell Huntington Hospital Media Relations Manager Shawn Jordan were not returned Friday.