Valve cut during heart surgery, suit claims

By Kelly Holleran | Jan 5, 2010

The administrator of a deceased woman's estate blames doctors for causing the woman's death, alleging they cut through a valve in her heart while performing heart surgery.

Avery Simmons filed a lawsuit Dec. 28 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Protestant Memorial Medical Center doing business as Memorial Hospital, Dr. Stuart Mauch, Dr. Amanullah Pathan, Dr. Atul Shah, Dr. Hans Moosa and Dr. David Wallace.

Simmons claims Aretha Simmons-Walker was a patient at Memorial Hospital when she died on Dec. 29, 2007, following complications during heart surgery.

During a cardiac catheterization and stent placement procedure, Drs. Pathan and Shaw punctured Simmons-Walker's right iliac artery, the suit states.

According to the complaint, doctors failed to appropriately monitor Simmons-Walker following the cardiac catheterization, angioplasty and a stent placement procedure. After the surgery, Simmons-Walker showed signs of a retroperitonial hematoma, but doctors failed to recognize its significance, the suit states. She also had a torn right iliac artery and retro peritoneal blood, the complaint says.

Because of the doctors' alleged negligent actions, Simmons-Walker suffered hypotension, renal failure and septemia, which led to her Dec. 29, 2007, death, Simmons claims.

Due to her death, Simmons-Walker's heirs suffered loss of her companionship and society, according to the complaint.

In the six-count suit, Simmons is seeking a judgment of more than $300,000, plus costs.

Staci M. Yandle of The Law Offices of Staci M. Yandle in Belleville will be representing him.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-689.

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