Swansea doctor sued by woman claiming kidney cancer

Kelly Holleran Jun. 17, 2010, 9:43am


A St. Clair County woman claims her former physician failed to inform her of a mass on her kidney that she later discovered to be cancerous.

Linda K. Cordes claims defendant Dr. R. Brad Ringhofer of Swansea served as her primary care physician from June 9, 2006, through Aug. 31, 2009. During that time, Cordes underwent a CT scan of her abdomen and pelvis at Memorial Hospital. The scan revealed signs of a right renal cystic lesion and advised Ringhofer to consider performing an ultrasound on Cordes for better evaluation, according to the complaint filed May 28 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

However, Ringhofer allegedly failed to inform Cordes of the results of the CT scan and did not follow up with an ultrasound, the suit states.

On June 13, 2007, more than a year later, Cordes underwent another CT scan of her abdomen and pelvis. Again, the scan recommended further evaluations, but again Ringhofer allegedly failed to do so, the complaint says.

After changing physicians, Cordes claims she underwent a follow-up examination of her kidneys where her new physician diagnosed her with renal cancer. She underwent a laparoscopic right radical nephrectomy during which doctors removed her right kidney on Oct. 15, according to the complaint.

Because of Ringhofer's alleged failure to diagnose Cordes with renal cancer earlier, she has experienced pain and suffering, incurred medical costs and suffered mental anguish, the suit states.

Cordes alleges medical malpractice against Ringhofer, saying he failed to inform her of test results that showed a mass on her right kidney, failed to order follow-up examinations and failed to monitor the progression of her renal mass.

In her complaint, Cordes seeks a judgment of more than $75,000, plus other relief the court deems just.

Timothy F. McCurdy of The McCurdy Law Firm in St. Louis will be representing her.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-266.

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