Memorial Hospital and doctor named in new med mal suit

Steve Gonzalez May 31, 2005, 10:20am

Belleville Memorial Hospital

Belleville Memorial Hospital and Keith Mullenger, M.D. were the targets of a medical malpractice lawsuit filed in St. Clair County Circuit Court May 26 by Madison County resident Michael Bowen.

Bowen, who is seeking at least $50,000 in damages, is represented by Alvin Paulson of Becker, Paulson, Hoerner & Thompson of Belleville.

He claims that on Nov. 12, 2003, Mullenger determined that his hand was not fractured, dislocated or abnormal after reviewing x-rays taken at the hospital.

But on April 13, 2004, an independent orthopedic surgeon reviewed the x-rays and determined Bowen suffered an undiagnosed dorsal fracture, according to the suit.

When asked for comment, a spokesperson at Memorial Hospital said the hospital was unaware of the new filing. The Record faxed a copy of the lawsuit.

"We have not been served yet," said Memorial Hospital Public Relations Director Anne Thomure. "But from what you provided to us, there doesn't seem to be a certificate of merit against Memorial Hospital.

"There are no allegations against Memorial - other than it states that Dr. Mullenger is an employee/agent of the hospital - which is not true."

The suit alleges Mullenger was careless and negligent by failing to properly diagnose the fracture and failing to properly read the x-rays which caused him to suffer a physical deformity and continuing pain in his left hand.

Bowen claims permanent disfigurement, medical expenses and pain and anguish. He is seeking a judgment in an amount equitable and reasonable, and sufficient to confer the jurisdiction of the court, plus any other relief the court deems proper and just.

05 L 315 (20th Circuit)

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