Molly English-Bowers Feb. 3, 2016, 2:52pm


EDWARDSVILLE – A Clinton County woman is suing a therapy center and health care professionals, alleging she fractured her foot during her physical therapy sessions following a stroke.

Sam Lewis filed a lawsuit Jan. 25 in Madison County Circuit Court against Apex Physical Therapy LLC in Highland and Breese, and Apexnetwork Physical Therapy in Breese, as well as Ryan D. Lampe, Jeffrey S. Swank, Amy J. Kuhl, Meghan R. Whaley, Teri Kampwerth and Kerri Travous-Anstedt.

According to the complaint, Apex Physical Therapy employs Lampe, a licensed physical therapist and a licensed certified athletic trainer; Swank, a doctor of physical therapy; Kuhl, a physical therapy assistant; Whaley a physical therapy assistant; Kampwerth, a doctor of physical therapy; and Travous-Anstedt, a master of physical therapy. 

On Jan. 29, 2014, the suit says, Lewis made her first visit to the defendants for physical therapy due to two strokes she had recently experienced. She claims she told them she had weakness on the left side of her body and that her left ankle was significantly weaker than the right ankle, the lawsuit states. The defendants allegedly assigned her leg and foot exercises for Jan. 30, 2014.

During the plaintiff's third visit on Feb. 4, 2014, the defendants allegedly increased her leg and foot weights by a significant amount, the lawsuit alleges. And during the session, Lewis claims she felt something pop in her left foot. She informed the defendants of pop and the resulting pain, the suit states.

Not only did the defendants advise the plaintiff that the incident was a normal effect of therapy, but they failed to enter any reference to the injury in her medical chart, the suit says. She eventually visited a doctor who told her the foot was broken. 

After the plaintiff informed the defendants of this prognosis, the suit says, they continued weight-bearing and range of motion exercises without consulting her physician and with her immobilization boot removed, per their instructions.

The plaintiff alleges her foot occasionally goes numb and she often falls over, that she walks with a limp and that her fractured foot has interfered with her stroke rehabilitation, causing her to lose the possibility of any significant recovery. 

Lewis seeks a jury trial and judgment against all defendants in an amount greater than the court's jurisdictional limit, plus other relief the court deems just and proper. She is represented by attorney Michael C. Searmands of the Law Offices of Michael C. Seamands LLC in St. Louis.

Madison County Circuit Court case number 16-L-110

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