St. Joseph's Hospital in Highland

Elaine Cwiklowski filed a medical malpractice suit against St. Joseph's Hospital in Highland and Keith Thomae, M.D. in Madison County Circuit Court Aug. 30, seeking damages in excess of $150,000.

Cwiklowski claims she followed up with Thomae five days after she had her gallbladder removed on Oct. 7, 2005, complaining of right upper abdominal pain and yellowish skin appearance or jaundice.

Later that day she was admitted to St. Joseph's with an elevated blood sugar count of 388, abdominal pain and tenderness, anorexia, malaise, nausea with dry heaves, constipation and jaundice.

According to the complaint, Cwiklowski underwent a procedure called ERCP on Oct. 13, 2005, and was diagnosed with obstructed common bile duct due to clips that were placed during her Oct. 7, 2005, surgery by Thomae. She was later transferred to Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis for further treatment and surgery.

Cwiklowski claims the defendants:

  • failed to properly identify her biliary anatomy;
  • failed and omitted to utilize adequate and proper procedures and tests to determine the location of her biliary anatomy;
  • caused and permitted her common bile duct to be clipped;
  • failed to notice or repair he common bile duct after a clip had been placed;
  • failed to notice or repair her hepatic arterial inflow; and
  • failed to recognize the need for prompt treatment of her medical condition after the gallbladder removal.

    Cwiklowski claims she has sustained serious, permanent, progressive, disabling and disfiguring physical injuries and has suffered severe pain and mental and emotional fear, anguish, depression, frustration, humiliation, stress, anxiety and embarrassment.

    She also claims her ability to enjoy the ordinary pursuits of life is permanently impaired and diminished and her ability to work and labor has been permanently impaired and diminished.

    Michael Leitman, M.D. of New York, who reviewed Cwiklowski's medical charts wrote, "It is my medical opinion, within a reasonable degree of medical certainty that Dr. Thomae deviated from the appropriate standard of care that a reasonably qualified competent physician would follow in this case."

    "As a result of the negligence acts of St. Joseph's Hospital and Dr. Thomae, Ms. Cwiklowski suffered and continues to suffer injuries and damage," Leitman added.

    Cwiklowski is represented by Amy Collignon Gunn of Simon Passanante of St. Louis.

    The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Don Weber.

    06 L 730

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