St. Clair County med-mal suit names Carbondale docs, hospital

Steve Gonzalez Jul. 7, 2005, 12:39pm

Ronald Hudson filed a medical malpractice suit in St. Clair County Circuit Court June 23 against Joseph Rubelowsky, M.D. and his employer, Prairie Heart Institute, for carelessly performing his mitro valve repair surgery.

Hudson also named Memorial Hospital of Carbondale, Maria Falcone, M.D. and Edwards Lifesciences in his suit.

The suit claims that on June 23, 2003, the defendants failed to timely diagnose and treat the improperly performed surgery.

According to Hudson, he has suffered permanent pain, mental anguish and disfigurement due to his heart damage.

Hudson also claims he has been prevented from attending to his usual affairs and duties, lost wages and has become liable for large sums of money in hospital and medical-related expenses.

The complaint states that Edwards Lifesciences sold an annuloplasty ring that failed to perform as reasonably expected given its nature and intended function.

Annuloplasty rings are designed to restore the anatomical size and shape of the valve and to help prevent recurrent dilatation.

Rhonda Hudson, Ronald’s wife, claims her husband’s health issues have caused her to be permanently deprived of the love, companionship, consortium, and support to which she was entitled.

Rubelowsky, an assistant professor at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, also is an officer in the Army Reserves and recently served in Afghanistan. He has more than 10 years experience as an open-heart surgeon.

In 2001, Falcone became one of 3,696 physicians certified by the Certified Board of Nuclear Cardiology (CBNC).

The Hudsons, represented by Belleville attorney Thomas Keefe, are seeking damages in excess of $1.2 million dollars, plus all costs of the suit.

Edwards Lifesciences is a global leader in products and technologies to treat advanced cardiovascular disease, the global leader in acute hemodynamic monitoring and the number-one heart valve company in the world.

Headquartered in Irvine, California, Edwards Lifesciences has more than 5,000 employees worldwide, selling medical technologies in more than 100 countries with 2004 sales of $931 million.

Prairie Heart Institute is the largest heart program in Illinois. It performs more diagnostic catheterization angioplasties and heart surgeries in 29 central Illinois offices than any single hospital in the state.

05 L 369 (20th Circuit)

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