Southern Illinois Brain and Spine Center, doctors named in med mal complaint

Kelly Holleran Jun. 13, 2011, 4:30am

A Collinsville man claims his doctors failed to timely diagnose him with a serious spinal condition, which can cause permanent paralysis if left untreated.

Randy Lampe filed a lawsuit June 2 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Dr. Duk Kim, Dr. Joseph Yazdi and Southern Illinois Brain and Spine Center.

In his complaint, Lampe claims he visited Kim after sustaining an injury at work on March 27, 2009, that resulted in severe low back pain and left leg symptoms.

Lampe's symptoms were consistent with those of Cauda Equina Syndrome, a condition that occurs when the nerve roots extending from the brain become compressed and paralyzed, according to the complaint. These nerve roots are responsible for sending messages to the pelvic region and to a person's lower limbs. In addition to permanent paralysis, patients who are not quickly treated can experience impaired bladder and/or bowel control and loss of sexual sensation.

During Lampe's visit with Kim, however, Kim failed to diagnose the condition, the suit states. The doctor recommended Lampe visit neurosurgeon Yazdi. However, Yazdi also failed to quickly discover the syndrome from which Lampe suffered, the complaint says.

Instead, Yazdi decided to operate on Lampe's spinal L4, performing a laminotomy, a foraminotomy and a discectomy, Lampe alleges.

As a result of the doctors' alleged failure to adequately diagnose and the surgery, Lampe lost income, suffered disability and disfigurement, experienced pain and suffering, incurred medical costs and lost his enjoyment for life, the complaint says.

Lampe blames Kim and Yazdi for causing his injuries, saying they negligently failed to conduct proper testing which would have determined that Lampe suffered from the syndrome and failed to diagnose Lampe's severe back injury, the suit states.

In addition, Kim allegedly negligently failed to refer Lampe to a competent neurosurgeon while Yazdi allegedly failed to treat Lampe for the Cauda Equina Syndrome, the complaint says.

In performing the surgery, Yazdi negligently failed to identify the fratibral bodies, removed structures without identifying them and removed substantial bone from Lampe's L4 vertebral body causing Lampe significant mechanical instability, Lampe claims.

Lampe names Southern Illinois Brain and Spine Center as a defendant because Yazdi worked there at the time of Lampe's surgery.

In his five-count suit, Lampe seeks a judgment of more than $250,000, plus costs.

James R. Williams of Williams, Caponi and Foley in Belleville will be representing him.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 11-L-257.

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