News of Riverton, Lander and Fremont County, Wyoming, from the Ranger's award winning journalists.
Dec 27, 2013 - The Associated Press
Mother sues over son's death
CHEYENNE -- The mother of a 16-year-old boy who was paralyzed after breaking two vertebrae during high school wrestling practice has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against a Wyoming hospital that treated him.
The lawsuit from Melissa Plumley alleges Cheyenne Regional Medical Center didn't monitor Isaac Salas properly and discharged him even though he was having difficulty breathing. The lawsuit filed last week seeks undisclosed damages for Salas's death, and for medical and funeral expenses.
Hospital officials declined to discuss the case.
Salas was at wrestling practice in November 2010 at Cheyenne South High School when he broke two vertebrae in his neck, leaving him paralyzed. After months of rehab, he continued going to school and started his junior year.
The lawsuit says he was taken to the hospital on Sept. 2, 2011, because he was having problems with his catheter. The lawsuit alleges that pain medication that Salas was given while hospitalized made it harder for him to breathe because his paralysis reduced his respiratory strength.
The lawsuit also claims that hospital staff did not update Salas's information chart with his heart rate and breathing rate. It says he was released the following day without being examined by his doctor.
As Salas was wheeled out of the hospital, he was dizzy and unsteady and "seeing stars and lights" -- symptoms of having a low oxygen level, the lawsuit says.
Salas stopped breathing hours after his discharge and returned to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to the lawsuit.
Laramie to turn over records
LARAMIE -- Laramie city officials say they're preparing to comply with a court order to release personnel records of a former mayor who was hired as recreation manager.
Assistant City Manager Dave Derragon says the city is compiling information related to the hiring of former Mayor Jodi Guerin.
City Councilor Joe Vitale initially sought the records related to Guerin's qualifications. He asked to see Guerin's resume and those of the 72 other applicants and was denied.
The Laramie Boomerang newspaper got involved and said it was prepared to sue to obtain the records. The city pre-emptively sued the newspaper, its publisher and Vitale in August.
District Court Judge Jeffrey Donnell has ordered the records to be released.
The Boomerang reports that the litigation has cost Laramie more than $10,700 in legal fees.