Middle finger injury leads to med mal action

Ann Knef Jan. 2, 2007, 6:08am

A Mascoutah woman whose middle finger was injured after slipping and falling on ice is sticking it to two area doctors for botching her treatment.

According to a lawsuit filed Dec. 28 in St. Clair County Circuit Court, Lucy Bleisch claims Timothy Bradley, M.D. negligently performed volar plate reconstruction on her left middle finger on Jan. 4, 2005.

Following a string of post-operative problems including infection, Bleisch claims she was required intravenous antibiotics, but Bradley could not admit her to the hospital because he lacked admitting privileges at any local hospital.

Bleisch also is suing Robert Ladove, M.D., whom she first sought treatment from following her slip and fall on Dec. 28, 2004, as well as his employer Midwest Occupational Medicine. She blames them for referring her to Bradley.

Bleisch claims that Ladove should have known that Bradley "was unqualified and/or unskilled and/or incompetent and/or lacked hospital privileges at the time he referred plaintiff to him," the complaint states.

Ladove initially treated Bleisch's finger by applying an alumafoam splint, but x-rays later showed that Bleisch fractured the right third phalanx at the base of her left hand. He then referred Bleisch to Bradley who on Jan. 3, 2005, diagnosed her with proximal interphalangeal joint volar plate avulsion with instability of the PIP joint, for which he recommended volar plate repair.

Following post-operative pain "so severe that she was unable to participate in post-operative therapy," Bradley diagnosed Bleisch with an infected finger, the suit states.

On Jan. 14, 2005, Bradley carried out a debridement of the infected finger, removed the hardware consisting of a pull out wire, had the area cultured and determined Bleisch required treatment with broad spectrum intravenous antibiotics.

Bleisch was admitted for care to St. Elizabeth's Hospital by her primary care physician, David O'Neill, M.D.

Among other things, Bleisch claims Bradley failed to perform necessary diagnostic tests and properly read and interpret those test results. She also claims he failed to prescribe "conservative" treatment when indicated.

Represented by Rhonda D. Fiss of Belleville, Bleisch is seeking in excess of $150,000 in damages as she has endured extreme physical and mental pain, incurred medical expenses, lost income and has become permanently disfigured and disabled.

More News