Doctor accused of improperly removing cancerous mass

Andrea Dearden Jun. 6, 2011, 2:44am


A St. Clair County doctor is accused of improperly removing a cancerous mass from a patient's neck.

Stephen Meyer filed a lawsuit in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Dr. Wallace P. Berkowitz and Dr. Wallace P. Berkowitz Ltd.

According to the complaint, Dr. Berkowitz, an otolaryngologist, surgically removed a mass from Stephen Meyer's neck in April 2009. In May 2009, Meyer says, a second surgery was performed to remove tissue left behind after the first procedure.

Meyer alleges Dr. Berkowitz failed to perform proper diagnostic tests before the first two operations so a third surgery was required to take out remaining tissue.

Meyer also claims Dr. Berkowitz referred him for radiation therapy before all of the cancerous tissue was fully removed, forcing the patient to discontinue treatment. Meyer says the series of surgeries left him with partial paralysis and put him at risk of recurrence of cancer because he had to stop radiation therapy.

He accuses Dr. Berkowitz of medical malpractice. Meyer's wife, Janice, is suing for loss of consortium. They ask for more than $200,000 in damages for medical expenses, loss of income and court costs.

Attorneys Charles W. Armbruster and Michael T. Blotevogel of Alton are representing the Meyers.

St. Clair County Circuit Court Case No. 11-L-232

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