Hospital and doctors sued over woman's mitral valve-related stroke

Kelly Holleran Aug. 14, 2012, 2:22am


A woman claims she suffered a stroke after doctors failed to diagnose her with a disease that limits the supply of blood to her brain.

Jessica Hempen filed a lawsuit July 20 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against St. Joseph's Hospital, Breese, of the Hospital Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis; Dr. James Marshall; Dr. Carmon Glover; Dr. Deborah Treacy; Dr. James Wells; Neurology Consultants of Southern Illinois; Dr. Stephen Burger; and St. Louis University.

In her complaint, Hempen claims she suffered from a stroke after doctors failed to diagnose her with mitral valve disease, which is a condition in which the valve between the left heart chambers fails to properly function. As a result, Hempen suffered from a "cerebrovascular event," which effects the flow of blood to the brain, according to the complaint.

Hempen claims her stroke led to cognitive defects and caused her to suffer permanent pain, mental anguish, disability and disfigurement and to incur medical costs. She also lost wages and was prevented from attending to her usual duties and affairs, the suit states.

Hempen blames the defendants for contributing to her injuries, saying they negligently failed to properly treat her cerebrovascular event, failed to timely diagnose her cerebrovascular event, failed to properly diagnose her mitral valve disease and failed to timely treat her mitral valve disease.

In her three-count complaint, Hempen seeks a judgment of more than $525,000, plus costs.

Thomas Q. Keefe Jr. of Belleville will be representing her.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 12-L-369.

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