Surgeon, Washington University sued over torn artery

Kelly Holleran Nov. 17, 2008, 1:24am

Michelle L. and Christopher Franklin have filed suit against Washington University and one of its thoracic surgeons, alleging the doctor performed the wrong procedure and failed to biopsy a questionable lymph node.

Traves Crabtree, a thoracic surgeon employed by Washington University, performed surgery on Michelle known as a mediastinoscopy with lymph node biopsy, according to a complaint filed Nov. 7 in Madison County Circuit Court.

The surgery was done after Michelle began treatment at Crabtree's clinic at Anderson Hospital in Maryville in January 2007, the suit states.

During the surgery, Crabtree tore Michelle's pulmonary artery, pulmonary vein and bronchus, she claims.

Because of the incident, Michelle suffered pain, permanent disability and injury and incurred additional medical expenses, according to the complaint.

Christopher lost Michelle's society and wages to take care of her, the suit states.

The Franklins allege Crabtree and Washington University were negligent because Crabtree failed to give proper informed consent to Michelle concerning the surgery and decided to perform the procedure when it was not the correct one and when it would not provide the opportunity to biopsy the suspicious lymph node.

Crabtree and Washington University also negligently failed to use a different approach to the biopsy, failed to abort the procedure when it became apparent it would not work, failed to biopsy the lymph node and failed to read the pre-procedure tests, which resulted in them not knowing that the mediastinoscopy was not the proper procedure, according to the complaint.

In the two-count suit, the Franklins are seeking a judgment in excess of $50,000, plus costs.

The Franklins will be represented by Thomas O. Falb of Williamson, Webster, Falb and Glisson in Alton.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 08-L-1052.

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Anderson Hospital
6800 State Route 162
Maryville, IL 62062

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