Heather Isringhausen Gvillo Sep. 19, 2013, 8:46am

Defendants in a case accusing the creators of a medical tool of causing a piece to be left in a patient’s neck during surgery are seeking to remove the case to federal court.

Teleflex Medical Inc. and Teleflex Inc. filed a notice of removal of civil action on July 22, asking for the case to be moved to the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Illinois.

The defendants argue that St. Clair County Circuit Court is the wrong location because the action is between citizens of different states. Teleflex Medical is located in California with headquarters in North Carolina and Teleflex is located in Delaware with headquarters in Pennsylvania.

Michael Kellerman filed the lawsuit on June 18 against Teleflex Medical Inc. and Teleflex Inc., both doing business as Pilling.

According to Kellerman’s complaint, he underwent throat surgery at Barnes Jewish Hospital in June 2011. During the pharyngeosophageal segment dilation procedure, the surgeon used a #12 French Pilling bougie, or dilator, manufactured by Teleflex. As the dilator was being removed, a white tip allegedly attached to the metal handle came off and was left inside his neck.

Kellerman blames the defendants for making and selling a faulty product that comes apart during use. He accuses the defendants of negligence and asks for more than $100,000.

Kellerman is represented by Mark S. Schuver and William J. Niehoff of Belleville.

Teleflex Medical Inc. and Teleflex Inc. are represented by Ann Hatch, Gene Brockland and Brian Wracker of Herzog Crebs LLP in St. Louis.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 13-L-300

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