St. Elizabeth's, doctors named in med mal suit

Kelly Holleran Jul. 21, 2009, 10:30am

Three individuals have filed suit against four doctors and St. Elizabeth's Hospital, alleging a woman died from complications she experienced due to swelling of her skull and brain after she fell.

Charles R. Enswiller and Larry E. Enswiller, co-executors of the estate of Anita LeRuez, and Maurice LeRuez, Anita LeRuez's husband, claim Anita LeRuez fell and struck her head violently on July 6, 2007, causing swelling of her skull and brain.

Despite the risks of the fall, doctors at St. Elizabeth's Hospital did not perform surgery on her until July 17, 2007, according to the complaint filed July 17 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

As a result of her injuries and the delayed surgery, Anita LeRuez died on July 18, 2007, the suit states.

Before her death, Anita LeRuez was forced to incur pain, suffering, discomfort, fright, humiliation, mental and emotional distress, serious injuries to her head, brain, face, neck and neurological and skeletal systems and to incur medical expenses, the complaint says.

Because of Anita LeRuez's death, her next of kin have suffered loss of her love, affection, society, companionship, guidance, counsel, advice, care, comfort and financial support, the plaintiffs claim.

In addition to St. Elizabeth's Hospital, four doctors – R. Brad Ringhoffer, Anwar Khan, Samuel Burstein and Robert Schultz – are named as defendants.

The plaintiffs blame the defendants for failing to diagnose and adequately assess her condition on July 5, 2007; for failing to appropriately interpret tests of Anita LeRuez to determine her condition on July 5, 2007; for failing to adequately supervise her treatment; and for failing to timely conduct surgery on the swelling in her brain.

In the three-count suit, the plaintiffs are seeking a judgment of more than $150,000, plus costs and other relief the court deems just.

John A. Vassen of Vassen in Belleville will be representing them.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-380.

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