Husband collapses after being discharged from hospital too soon, woman claims

By Kelly Holleran | Oct 6, 2009

The wife of a recently deceased man is seeking more than $1 million over her husband's death after he collapsed after being discharged from a Belleville hospital in 2007.

Mary Casey, wife of recently deceased Phillip Casey, filed a lawsuit Sept. 22 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Dr. Marjorie Guthrie, Southern Illinois Health Care Foundation doing business as Belleville Family Health Center, Dr. Julie Wittnenauer, Dr. Ashley Malcolm, Dr. David Dorsey, St. Elizabeth's Hospital of the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, Dr. Roop Lal, Physician's Assistant Heidi Duff and Cardiology Consultants.

Casey claims her husband was treated by the defendants Sept. 23, 2007, through Sept. 25, 2007. During his treatment, Phillip Casey was diagnosed with pulmonary embolism, which is a blockage of the main artery in the lung, and with deep vein thrombosis, which is a formation of a blood clot in a deep vein, according to the complaint.

But defendants failed to properly manage a health care plan for Phillip Casey, negligently allowed a sequential compression device – an instrument meant to increase the blood flow in patients to decrease the risk of deep vein thrombosis – to be applied to Casey even though he already had deep vein thrombosis and failed to stop use of the device, the suit states.

In addition, doctors and other defendants prematurely discharged Phillip Casey from the hospital and failed to properly supervise residents who were treating Phillip Casey, the complaint says.

Julie Wittnenauer, Ashley Malcolm and David Dorsey, defendants who were residents at the hospital at the time of Phillip Casey's death, negligently failed to properly consult with a doctor as to appropriate care for Phillip Casey, Mary Casey claims.

In addition, Roop Lal failed to consult with his physician's assistant on the proper course of action for Phillip Casey's treatment and his physician's assistant, Heidi Duff, failed to consult him, according to the complaint.

Included in her allegations against St. Elizabeth's Hospital, Mary Casey's lawsuit states that doctors "failed to properly treat Phillip Casey, deceased, after he collapsed in the hospital following his improper discharge."

As a result of the doctors' negligence, Phillip Casey died on Sept. 25, 2007, his wife claims.

Because of their husband's and father's death, Mary Casey and her children, Mary C. Casey and Phillip Casey II, have been deprived of his companionship, society and affections, have suffered grief and sorrow and have incurred funeral and burial costs.

In the 20-count suit, Mary Casey is seeking a judgment of more than $1 million, plus costs.

William V. Kozol of Rathbun, Cservenyak and Kozol in Joliet will be representing her.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-499.

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