Spinal tumor undiagnosed, med mal suit claims

Kelly Holleran Jul. 28, 2009, 8:21am

A man has filed suit against the doctors and hospital that he says failed to diagnose him with a spinal tumor.

Richard Dooley claims his spinal tumor went undiagnosed and untreated from July 31, 2006, through April 25, 2007.

Throughout the eight months that he remained undiagnosed, Dooley visited multiple doctors, including defendant Dr. Rod Hartzel, defendant nurse practitioner Diane Schwind, defendant Dr. Mahendra Gunapooti and defendant chiropractor Bridget Brasfield, according to the complaint filed July 23 in Madison County Circuit Court.

Because of the defendants' failure to diagnose him, Dooley suffered permanent pain, mental anguish, disability and disfigurement and incurred medical costs, the complaint says. In addition, he claims he was prevented from attending to his usual affairs and lost wages.

Included as defendants in the lawsuit are Granite City Corporate Corporation, Granite City Physicians Corporation, Granite City Illinois Hospital Company, doing business as Gateway Regional Medical Center and Interventional Pain Management Services.

"Plaintiff did not choose Diane Schwind, Rod Hartzel or Mahendra Gunapooti, but relied upon Gateway Regional Medical Center to provide complete medical care," the suit states.

The defendants negligently failed to order appropriate diagnostic testing, failed to obtain appropriate consultations and failed to appropriately and timely treat Dooley's spinal tumor, according to the complaint.

In the nine-count suit, Dooley is seeking a judgment of more than $675,000, plus costs.

Thomas Q. Keefe Jr. of Belleville will be representing him.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-762.

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