Med mal suit over brain herniation filed in Madison County

By Kelly Holleran | Mar 29, 2011

An Illinois woman and her husband have filed suit against the doctors and medical centers they blame for allowing the woman to experience a brain herniation.

Patricia Fugate claims she suffered from an infection in her skull, which led to a brain abscess and, eventually, to a brain herniation.

According to her complaint filed March 22 in Madison County Circuit Court, Patricia Fugate's injuries could have been avoided had doctors referred her to an otolaryngologist -- an ear physician that could have diagnosed her condition and appropriately treated it.

Patricia Fugate originally suffered from an infection of her inner ear and an inflammation of her outer ear and ear canal, the suit states. Defendants Dr. Brian Quarton and Kim Earl at defendant Macoupin Family Practice Centers and defendant Drs. Charles Buckley and Martin Gladstone of defendant Carlinville Area Hospital negligently failed to treat both conditions, the complaint says.

Quarton also failed to diagnose and treat Patricia Fugate's mastoiditis, which is an infection of a bone in the skull, she claims.

Patricia Fugate also allegedly received inadequate care from defendant Dr. Jeffrey T. Fierstein of defendant Illinois Ear, Nose and Throat Associates, where doctors failed to perform an appropriate history, failed to ensure her timely transition to a tertiary care physician and failed to refer her to specialty care, according to the complaint.

Defendant Drs. Elizabeth McDaniel, Aamir Banday and John Byrnes of defendant St. John's Hospital of the Hospital Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis also treated Patricia Fugate, but negligently failed to treat her brain infection and failed to diagnose her with a brain abscess, the suit states.

As a result of her doctors' negligence, Patricia Fugate suffered permanent pain, mental anguish, disability and disfigurement and incurred medical costs, according to the complaint. She also lost wages and was prevented from attending to her usual duties, the suit states.

In addition, Patricia Fugate's husband, Robert Fugate, incurred medical costs and lost his wife's love, companionship, consortium, support and services, the complaint says.

In their 20-count complaint, the Fugates seek a judgment of more than $2.1 million, plus costs.

They will be represented by Samantha S. Unsell of Thomas Q. Keefe Jr. in Belleville.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 11-L-270.

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