A patient is suing a Belleville hospital and two of its doctors, claiming he has permanent nerve damage following a knee replacement.

Dave Gutjahr filed the lawsuit on March 19 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Protestant Memorial Medical Center Inc., Dr. James Boivin, Anesthesia Associates of Belleville, Dr. Steven Horner and Belleville Orthopedic Surgeons Ltd.

Gutjahr says he was under the care of Dr. Boivin and Dr. Horner when he underwent a total knee replacement in August 2009 at Protestant Memorial Medical Center.

Following the surgery, Gutjahr says he developed numbness in his right leg but was "consistently assured by all treaters that the numbness was temporary, and would resolve over time."

However, Gutjahr became aware in March 2010 that the nerve damage was likely permanent, according to the complaint. The patient accuses the five defendants of negligence for allegedly causing the nerve damage to his leg during the knee replacement surgery.

He says he has endured permanent pain, mental anguish, disfigurement and has been permanently prevented from attending to his usual affairs because of the injury.

Gutjahr is asking awarded more than $375,000 in damages plus court costs. Attorney Thomas Q. Keefe Jr. of Belleville is representing him.

St. Clair County Circuit Court Case No. 12-L-147

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