Widow seeks damages from dermatologist, pathologist

Ann Knef Sep. 15, 2005, 3:43am

Shirley Novitske filed a wrongful death lawsuit Sept. 8 in Madison County Circuit Court against her husband's dermatologist, pathologist and the lab she claims failed to correctly interpret her husband's cancerous tissue specimen.

Seeking in excess of $400,000 in damages, Novitske alleges that Alton dermatologist John Chanasue, M.D., pathologist George D. Bollozos, M.D. and Quest Diagnostics of St. Louis were negligent in the care of her husband, Francis.

Francis Novitske, who had been diagnosed with metastatic squamous cell carcinoma, died April 26. He came under Chanasue's care in 1991 for treatment of dermatitis and a neck wart.

According to the complaint, Chanasue deviated from medical standards by allowing Novitske's skin cancer to develop into multiple metastatic tumors.

Among other things, Shirley Novitske is seeking damage for her husband's excruciating pain, gross disfigurement, avoidable surgical excisions, extraction of 21 teeth, multiple courses of radiation therapy and chemotherapy, depression and painful death.

She is represented by Lanny Darr of Schrempf, Blaine, Kelly & Darr in Alton.

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