Doctor misdiagnosed cyst, lawsuit claims

Andrea Dearden Jul. 26, 2011, 4:00am



An O'Fallon man is suing a Madison County doctor he says misdiagnosed his condition, allowing cancer to spread through his body.

Paul Earnhart and his wife, Patricia, filed a lawsuit July 6 in Madison County Circuit Court against Dr. William Drake, St. Joseph's Hospital in Breese and Hospital Sisters Health System.

According to the petition, Earnhart had a lump on the side of his neck that was removed by Dr. Jeffrey Fierstein in July 2009. The sample tissue was allegedly sent to Dr. Drake for analysis. Earnhart says the physician diagnosed the lump as an infected cyst.

Earnhart says the lump eventually returned and he was told it was cancer that had spread to his tongue and lymph nodes. Earnhart says he has since undergone cancer treatment.

The Earnharts are suing the doctor and hospital for negligence and loss of consortium for what they say was a blatant misdiagnosis. They are asking for more than $300,000 in damages for medical expenses along with court costs.

Attorneys Kevin J. Davidson, David M. Zevan and Jean L. Maquire of St. Louis are representing the Earnharts. They ask for a jury trial.

Madison County Circuit Court Case No. 11-L-661

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