Woman claims nerve damage near ring finger

Kelly Holleran Aug. 9, 2010, 9:11am

A woman claims she endured multiple surgeries and can no longer use her left ring finger thanks to a St. Clair County doctor who negligently treated her hand injury.

Pamela Bequette filed a lawsuit July 9 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Dr. Kosit Prieb and Vascular and Hand Surgery.

Bequette claims she visited Prieb May 21, 2009, following an injury she sustained to her left hand while working on her motorcycle May 15, 2009.

During Bequette's visit, Prieb examined x-rays taken at St. Elizabeth's Urgent Care, where Bequette initially sought treatment.

However, Prieb failed to take his own x-rays and recommended conservative treatment, placing Bequette in a short-arm cast, according to the complaint.

At Bequette's next office visit on June 11, 2009, Prieb replaced the short arm cast with a plaster splint, which Bequette remained wearing until her next office visit July 2, 2009, the suit states.

"During this examination her fingers were noted to be stiff and her finger had been immobilized during this entire period," the complaint says of her July 2 appointment. "Plaintiff was not placed on a digital motion program during this visit."

On July 16, 2009, Bequette claims she complained to Prieb of a sore left arm and shooting pain. Despite his previous recommendation of conservative treatment, Prieb recommended Bequette undergo surgery, which Prieb performed July 21, 2009, according to the complaint.

Still, following the surgery, Bequette suffered from a sore hand and burning pain, the suit states.

After Prieb applied a fiberglass cast to Bequette's arm during an Aug. 6, 2009, visit, Bequette decided to seek treatment from a new doctor -- Dr. Bruce Shlafly -- who has been forced to perform additional surgeries on Bequette's arm due to Prieb's alleged negligent treatment, the complaint says.

Because of Prieb's treatment, Bequette claims she can no longer move her left ring finger and has sustained permanent nerve damage in that area.

In her complaint, Bequette accuses Prieb of medical malpractice.

She seeks a judgment of more than $50,000, plus costs.

Jamie L. Boock of Rossiter and Boock in St. Louis will be representing her.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-353.

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