MEMPHIS, Tenn. — An Atoka widow has filed a lawsuit in Shelby County Circuit Court against the healthcare providers responsible for treating her husband prior to his death from COVID-19 in December.
Peter Dimoh came to the U.S. as a refugee, got married and built a life in Tipton County, according to his wife’s attorney Duncan Ragsdale.
But last November, his wife Shirley came down with COVID-19. Then, nine days later, Peter went to his doctor with symptoms of his own.
“Mr. Dimoh went to May Medical Group. Instead of sending him to the health department for a rapid nasal test, they drew blood,” Ragsdale said.
He called that the first of many mistakes in Peter’s treatment, whose blood test eventually came back positive for the virus. Soon after, he was taken to Methodist North hospital and died on December 16.
Ragsdale said doctors didn’t do enough to help and now represents Shirley Dimoh in a lawsuit against May Medical Group.
“These doctors were not qualified by their training to treat this man’s condition, and when you’re not qualified, you have a duty to refer them to a people that are qualified,” Ragsdale said.
He said doctors should’ve sent Peter to an infectious disease specialist.
Dr. Steve Threlkeld, an infectious disease specialist at Baptist, said most people don’t need to see a specialist like him and instead should stay home and isolate.
“The therapies for respiratory illnesses in the beginning are in fact few and far between,” Threlkeld said. “The average person with COVID does fine. It’s a moderate illness that goes away.”
But there is an exception where Peter’s case would apply. Ragsdale said Peter had diabetes.
“If you are a high risk person, that would be when a primary care doctor should call somebody who does what I do,” Threlkeld said.
Shirley Dimoh is suing for $5 million.
WREG contacted May Medical Group, but an office manager said they could not comment.