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The Heart Care Group, doctor deny liability in medical malpractice suit

By Heather Isringhausen Gvillo | Dec 21, 2015

The Heart Care Group in Fairview Heights and one of its doctors deny liability in a patient’s lawsuit alleging they failed to properly diagnose and treat his heart condition.

John M. Beatty, of Wood River, filed his lawsuit on Oct. 2 against Fairview Heights Medical Group, doing business as The Heart Care Group, and Dr. Michael J. Fleissner.

According to the complaint, Beatty claims Fleissner implanted a pacemaker on Aug. 14, 2013, after the plaintiff suffered a slow heartbeat following the administration of a beta blocker to treat arterial fibrillation.

Fleissner discharged Beatty the day after the pacemaker procedure even though Beatty was complaining of pressure and pain in his chest. The plaintiff also alleges an echocardiogram showed a small pericardial effusion around the right side of his heart, the suit states.

The suit states that Fleissner said the pericardial effusion was within normal limits and dismissed Beatty’s feeling of pressure and other symptoms as normal post-operative complaints.

However, Beatty claims he went back to the hospital on Nov. 7, 2013, with complaints of heart palpitations and weakness. He ended up having to undergo a procedure to drain the large pericardial effusion a few days later, the suit states.

Beatty alleges the defendants failed to diagnose and treat the pericardial effusion in a timely manner, prematurely discharged him after the procedure and failed to perform any follow-up echocardiograms to reassess the effusion.

The defendants answered the complaint on Nov. 26 through attorney James Neville of Neville Richards & Wuller in Belleville. They deny the allegations raised against them and demand a trial by jury.

Beatty seeks damages of more than $50,000, plus court costs and other relief the court deems just.

The plaintiff is represented by Paul W. Johnson of SL Chapman in St. Louis.

Madison County Circuit Court case number 15-L-1277

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