Suit claims hospital, doctors failed to diagnose nerve and artery damage

A Mitchell man says a Belleville hospital and its staff are responsible for him losing the use of part of his hand.
Dennis C. Miller filed a lawsuit Oct. 19 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Protestant Memorial Medical Center Inc., doing business as Memorial Hospital. Dr. Thomas Byrne, Dr. Sharon Smith and Dr. Tibor Kopjas are also named as defendants.Miller was admitted to Memorial Hospital's emergency room in October 2010, according to the complaint, with cuts, numbness and pain in his left middle and index fingers. Miller says he smashed his hand when he fell while carrying a television.

Miller claims he was under the care of Drs. Byrne, Smith and Kopjas while at Memorial Hospital. He says he was treated and released by the doctors without a proper diagnosis, adequate treatment or scheduled follow-up. Miller alleges the nerve and artery in his forearm were torn -- damage he says eventually required surgery to repair.

Because of the alleged intitial misdiagnosis, Miller claims he permanently lost the feeling and use of his left middle and index finger. He accuses the doctors and the hospital of negligence. Miller asks for more than $200,000 in damages for medical expenses, loss of income and court costs.

Miller is represented by attorney John T. Papa of Granite City.

St. Clair County Circuit Court Case No. 12-L-562

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