Memorial Hospital CEO blasts new med mal suit

Steve Gonzalez Dec. 6, 2005, 5:20am

Memorial Hospital

Days after a St. Clair County jury awarded $7.1 million in a medical malpractice case against one of the largest hospitals in southwestern Illinois, Belleville Memorial Hospital President Harry Maier fired back with his own salvos.

Responding to a new lawsuit aimed at the hospital and orthopedic surgeon Gregory Simmons, M.D., Maier said plaintiff Leroy Bauer's Nov. 22 medical malpractice complaint is "B.S." and typical of ones filed in "plaintiff's paradise."

Instead of suing the hospital and his surgeon, Bauer "ought to be on his knees thanking God and Memorial Hospital every day," Maier said.

Maier's remarks were made on the heels of a Dec. 3 jury verdict in favor of the parents of a boy who developed cerebral palsy in 1998 after he was discharged from the hospital with a low body temperature and weak appetite.

Plaintiff Amy Bauer, represented by attorney Rex Carr, complained that doctors failed to recognize symptoms of severe hypoglycemia in her infant son, Brendan. He developed cerebral palsy.

Maier said he was "confident" the case will be overturned by a higher court.

Leroy Bauer (no known relationship to Amy Bauer) claims that on Dec. 4, 2004, Simmons improperly implanted a right knee prosthesis. He filed suit in St. Clair County.

"Dr. Simmons did the best he could, the plaintiff was in bad, bad shape," Maier said.

According to Bauer, he lost function in his right knee and leg and the ability to walk independently without significant effort or aid, endured significant pain and suffering, and caused damage to his hip due to the increased strain.

The complaint alleges that the defendants failed to properly align one or more of the components of the knee replacement, failed to adequately cement the replacement hardware and failed to check the alignment.

"This is another day in the plaintiff's paradise," Maier said. "If you look at the suit it says 'hold for service.' We had to go to the courthouse to get a copy of it. He (Bauer) filed it because he did not want to run out the statutes of limitation.

"It is also worth noting that there is not a certificate of merit for this case either."

Bauer alleges he has lost the ability to care for himself, family and business, and has lost the ability to enjoy life.

Represented by David Damick of St. Louis, Bauer is seeking damages in excess of $50,000.

05 L 679 (20th Circuit)

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