Hylla to hold pre-trial in suit against Heartland Healthcare

By Amelia Flood | Mar 21, 2011


Madison County Circuit Judge David Hylla is set to hold a pre-trial conference Tuesday in a suit over the allegedly botched diagnosis of a woman's fatal colon cancer.

Plaintiff Tracey Whitford, the administrator of the estate of Mary Edwards of Granite City, is suing the owner of Heartland Healthcare and Dr. Kevin Konzen.

Whitford took over the suit Edwards filed against the pair after she succumbed to colon cancer Dec. 30, 2008.

The pre-trial conference is set for 10:30 a.m.

Trial is set for April 4.

According to Edwards' original complaint, the now-deceased plaintiff was treated at Heartland Healthcare in Granite City and Edwardsville over the course of several years prior to March 2006.

In March 2006, Edwards was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer.

Her suit claims that Konzen, her treating doctor, deviated from the standard of care by failing to recommend a colorectal cancer screening despite Edwards' age, failed to refer her to a gastroenterologist, failed to inform of the risk of failing to obtain the screening, and failing to evaluate her anemia.

As a result, the suit claims, the cancer advanced, causing her pain, suffering, and medical expenses.

The suit seeks damages in excess of $50,000 and costs per count.

Following Edwards' December 2008 death, Whitford took the role of plaintiff on behalf of the Edwards' estate.

The suit went to mediation with Madison County Associate Judge Keith Jensen in April 2009.

The mediation did not bring an end to the suit.

The defendants deny any negligence occurred in Edwards' treatment.

Madison County Circuit Judges Nicholas Byron – now retired – and Barbara Crowder had previously overseen the case.

Paul Schoen represents the plaintiff.

Stephen Potter represents the defendants.

The case is Madison case number 08-L-172.

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