Misdiagnosed aneurysm leads to suit against SLU, Family Physicians

By Kelly Holleran | Nov 17, 2008

A man has filed a wrongful death suit on behalf of a recently deceased family member against St. Louis University and one of its doctors plus Family Physicians of Madison County, alleging the family member died after a doctor failed to diagnose her aneurysm and associated hemorrhage.

Justin Harper claims Alena Harper went to the doctor complaining of a headache and various other symptoms.

But after doctors failed to diagnose Alena's problem, she died on Jan. 15, 2007, according to the suit filed Nov. 10 in Madison County Circuit Court.

Before Alena's death, Justin claims she suffered permanent pain, mental anguish, disfigurement and was permanently prevented from attending to her usual affairs.

Because of Alena's death, her family members have been deprived of her love, companionship, society and support and have incurred medical expenses, the suit states.

Nicole Lowe, a doctor, was negligent because she failed to timely order an MRI, the suit states.

Justin claims St. Louis University and Family Physicians were negligent because their employees failed to properly interpret a Dec. 10, 2006, CT film, failed to properly diagnose an intracranial aneurysm and intracranial hemorrhage and failed to timely treat Alena's aneurysm and hemorrhage.

In the six-count suit, Justin is seeking a judgment in excess of $450,000, plus costs.

Thomas Q. Keefe of Belleville will be representing Justin.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 08-L-1061.

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