Doctors missed breast cancer on mammograms, suit claims

Ann Knef May 24, 2006, 8:35am

Three Carbondale physicians, the Carbondale Clinic and Cape Radiology Group are blamed for failing to interpret a suspicious mammogram in a lawsuit filed in St. Clair County Circuit Court May 17.

Steve A. King is suing the clinics and Raleigh Johnson, M.D., William S. Campbell, M.D., Manu Tongwari, M.D. over the breast cancer death of his wife, Jeanette King.

King, represented by Joseph A. Bartholomew of Cook, Ysursa, Bartholomew, Brauer & Shevlin of Belleville, is seeking in excess of $750,000 in damages.

"Jeanette King's cancer was undiagnosed and untreated for a substantial period of time and as a result of the delay in treatment it metastasized which affected her prognosis," the complaint states.

Jeanette King had mammograms on Aug. 15, 2002, and on Oct. 31, 2003.

She was diagnosed with breast cancer on May 20, 2004, and died Nov. 20, 2005.

Steve King claims he has been deprived of the reasonable value of his wife's services, companionship, comfort, instruction, guidance, counsel, training, love and support.

He also claims that his wife suffered pain and disfigurement.

"Plaintiff had incurred great sums of money for medical and hospital treatment, she was disabled and lost the enjoyment of life," the complaint states.

According to King, the defendants "negligently and carelessly failed to expose breast tissue and work up an area of concern on the 8/15/02 mammogram."

In another count of the 15-count lawsuit, King alleges the defendants "negligently and carelessly failed to properly interpret suspicious areas on the 8/15/02 and 10/31/03 mammograms."

It also states that defendants were negligent for failing to "clinically recognize breast abnormalities in August, 2002, and October 2003, and therefore may not have requested a diagnostic mammogram in a patient with a significant cystic disease."

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