Mt. Vernon hospital and doctors sued in St. Clair County

By The Madison County Record | Jul 15, 2014


A woman has filed suit against doctors at Heartland Women’s Healthcare and Good Samaritan Regional Health Center in Mt. Vernon, saying they struck a hole in her bowel during a medical procedure.

Ruth Harrelson filed suit June 27 in the St. Clair County Circuit Court against David Walters M.D., Heartland Women’s Healthcare LTD., Good Samaritan Regional Health Center, Kevin Claffey M.D. and Douglas Combs M.D.

According to the complaint, defendant Drs. Walters, Claffey and Combs performed a laparoscopy using a thin, lighted tube through an incision in the stomach to search Harrelson's abdominal organs June 28, 2012. However, during the procedure, the doctors perforated Harrleson’s bowel, then discharged her without first discovering the mistake, according to the complaint. They also failed to accurately diagnose her with an entercutaneous fistula, the suit states.

Because of the incident, Harrelson sustained injuries, experienced pain and mental anguish and endured disability and disfigurement, the suit states. She also incurred medical costs and was prevented from attending to her usual affairs, the complaint says.

Harrelson seeks a judgment of more than $375,000, plus costs. She is being represented by Samantha S. Unsell of Keefe and Keefe in Belleville.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 14-L-528.

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