Two St. Clair County doctors and the hospital where they work are accused of causing one of their patients to be re-injured during rehabilitation.
Jeanne Lachmiller, daughter and independent executor of the estate of Pauline M. Pestka, filed a lawsuit Feb. 7 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against St. Elizabeth's Hospital of the Hospital Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis. Dr. Crystal M. Carmichael and Dr. Anwar Khan are also named as defendants.
According to the complaint, Pestka was a patient at St. Elizabeth's in December 2008 before being discharged to St. Elizabeth's Inpatient Rehabilitation Center/Comprehensive Rehabilitation Unit. Lachmiller says Pestka's discharge instructions from Dr. James Rushford were not properly transferred to the rehab unit and its doctors. Those discharge orders allegedly instructed Pestka to avoid abduction exercises for six weeks.
However, Lachmiller says Dr. Carmichael did not include those instructions in her mother's therapy orders for Dr. Khan. Subsequently, Pestka allegedly broke her lower right leg during rehab which Lachmiller says led to her mother having to be placed in a nursing home until her death in July 2011.
Lachmiller accuses the doctors and the hospital of negligence in their care for her mother. She is asking for more than $150,000 in damages along with court fees.
She is represented by attorney Lawrence J. Hess of the Rex Carr Law Firm in East St. Louis. They ask for a jury trial.
St. Clair County Circuit Court Case No. 12-L-73