Med mal suit aimed at Petrovich and Gateway

Steve Gonzalez Dec. 16, 2005, 6:01am

Gateway Regional Hospital

Chrystal David filed a medical malpractice suit against John Petrovich, M.D. and Gateway Regional Hospital in Madison County Circuit Court Dec. 14, seeking damages in excess of $50,000.

John Petrovich, M.D., 46, a Granite City surgeon and target of at least 16 medical malpractice cases in Madison and St. Clair Counties, pled guilty on July 25 to one felony charge of health care fraud.

David claims that on Dec. 17, 2003, Petrovich performed neck bypass surgery at Gateway, and negligently struck a nerve that controlled her pulmonary function.

According to David, she has been forced to seek subsequent treatment in an attempt to repair the damage Petrovich caused.

"David was injured both internally and externally, she suffered severe and permanent injuries, Petrovich's failure to comply with the acceptable standards of medical practice caused, or directly contributed to cause, worsening of her condition, which progressed to severe shortness of breath, among other damages, that she suffered acute and prolonged physical and mental pain and suffering, and that she became liable for great sums of money for medical and hospital care and treatment," the complaint states.

David is represented by John Hopkins of Edwardsville.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge George Moran.

In 2004, Jan Fuhler filed a suit in Madison County claiming she was fired by Granite City Hospital after alleging that Petrovich was using cocaine.

Pursuant to his plea agreement, Petrovich, of St. Louis, admitted that he knowingly participated in a scheme to defraud a health care benefit program, namely the Illinois Medicaid program, and that his scheme was in connection with the delivery of or payment for health care benefits, items, or services, namely prescription drugs.

Petrovich faces a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment, a fine of not more than $250,000, or both, and up to three years of supervised release.

05 L 1257

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