Hospital, docs will not answer med-mal complaint until certificate of merit is filed

Steve Gonzalez Oct. 8, 2008, 4:38am

Gateway Regional Medical Center in Granite City will not answer Kausar Ahsan Iqbal's medical malpractice suit until the plaintiff files a certificate of merit.

In addition to Gateway, Drs. Peter Anderson and Paul Scherer of Illinois SW Orthopedics also will not respond to the recent lawsuit until a certificate is filed.

Iqbal sued on Aug. 15 in Madison County Circuit Court alleging her knee replacement procedure was botched.

She alleges Anderson and Scherer deviated from the standard of care by negligently failing to gain proper informed consent for bilateral knee replacement and failed to warn of serious complications from the surgery.

In addition, Iqbal alleges the doctors failed to perform testing to ensure that implanted prosthetic knee devices were fabricated from materials appropriate for a patient, failed to appropriately size replacement knees and failed to prescribe appropriate physical therapy.

The defendants, all represented by Stephen Potter of St. Louis, allege pursuant to 735 ILCS 5/2-622(2) they are not required to file an answer to the complaint until a certificate is filed.

The defendants say they will file responsive pleadings 30 days after Iqbal files the certificate.

They do, however, demand a trial by jury on all counts.

Iqbal's complaint says the doctors performed the surgery in a manner which resulted in having to repeat it within a year, instead of an expectation that results would last 10-15 years.

She claims as a result of the negligence of Anderson and Scherer, she suffered nerve palsy requiring the use of a brace to walk, infection, loosening of her knee replacements and damage to her right knee due to altered gait.

Iqbal also alleges she had to undergo six surgeries to relieve the pain, repair with grafts and decompress the nerve damage caused by Anderson and Scherer.

Iqbal claims Gateway Regional was negligent by providing surgical privileges to surgeons that provided negligent medical care.

She also alleges that the Granite City hospital failed to establish and/or monitor and enforce rules, regulations and systems to ensure a safe and controlled patient care.

Iqbal is represented by Aaron Dickey of Edwardsville. She seeks damages in excess of $350,000.

The case is assigned to Circuit Judge Nicholas Byron.

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