Alton Memorial and doctors named in lung cancer case

Kelly Holleran Jun. 3, 2009, 7:56am

A man has filed suit on behalf of his deceased wife against Alton Memorial Hospital, Midwest Radiological Associates, Fairview Heights Medical Group and three doctors, alleging his wife died after the defendants failed to timely diagnose her with lung cancer.

Frank Crawford says his wife, Marlin Crawford, was a patient at Alton Memorial Hospital on Oct. 7, 2005.

During Marlin Crawford's hospital visit, defendant Dr. Theodore Vandervelde, who worked for Midwest, failed to report abnormal densities in the left upper lobe on a chest x-ray, failed to compare the chest x-ray with old films and failed to recommend a follow-up visit in three to six months, according to the complaint filed May 27 in Madison County Circuit Court.

Later, on Aug. 23, 2006, defendant Dr. John Hoelscher, who worked for Fairview Heights Medical Group, began to treat Marlin Crawford.

Hoelscher negligently failed to detect findings on certain x-rays taken on Aug. 21, 2006, according to the complaint.

Marlin Crawford visited a third doctor – defendant Laurance Monckton who worked for the Fairview Heights Medical Group – on Aug. 28, 2006, the complaint says.

Yet again, Monckton failed to report or treat x-ray findings, the suit states.

It was not until April 2, 2007, that doctors diagnosed Marlin Crawford with metastatic lung cancer, the suit states.

On Sept. 4, Marlin Crawford passed away from the disease.

Before her death, Marlin Crawford suffered severe pain, mental anguish and disability and incurred substantial medical costs, the complaint says.

Because of his wife's death, Frank Crawford says he and his children have suffered pecuniary loss, including the loss of Marlin Crawford's love, support, companionship, affection and society.

In the seven-count suit, Frank Crawford is seeking a judgment of more than $300,000, plus costs.

He is represented by Rex Carr of The Rex Carr Law Firm in East St. Louis.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-534.

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