Hylla set to open medical malpractice suit against doctor, Heartland Health

Amelia Flood Mar. 31, 2011, 6:31am




A medical malpractice and wrongful death suit filed against the owners of Heartland Healthcare and a woman's doctor over an alleged failure to diagnose colon cancer is set to open at trial Monday.

Madison County Circuit Judge David Hylla is set to take up motions in limine filed by the parties on Friday.

Plaintiff Tracey Whitford is suing Granite City Physicians Corp., doing business as Heartland, and Dr. Kevin Konzen for damages in excess of $50,000 per count and other relief. It also asks for burial and funeral expenses.

Whitford is suing on behalf of the estate of Mary Edwards, a now deceased patient of Konzen's.

According to the suit, the plaintiff claims Konzen failed to order a colonoscopy and to diagnose Edwards' colon cancer in 2006.

The suit claims Konzen deviated from the standard of care for failing to order screenings for colorectal cancer despite Edwards' age and failing to refer her to a specialist.

Edwards originally filed the suit in 2008.

She died in December of that year and Whitford took over as plaintiff.

The suit went to mediation with Madison County Associate Judge Keith Jensen in April 2009.

The mediation did not end the case.

Hylla held a pre-trial conference in the suit earlier this month.

The motions in limine include moves that would bar the defendants' attorneys from making statements during voir dire, opening statements or closing arguments that state they are "shocked" by the plaintiff's damages request or that they find the request "outrageous."

The defendants have filed motions in limine that would bar the plaintiff from asserting that the failure to order the colonoscopy is in itself a violation of the standard of care among other issues.

Paul Schoen represents the plaintiff.

Stephen Potter represents the defendants.

The case is Madison case number 08-L-172.

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