Several St. Clair County medical professionals and healthcare facilities deny liability in a suit alleging a patient died from the general anesthesia he was given.
Julia Lewis, as special administrator of the estate of Eric Lewis, filed the four-count complaint on May 29 against Junhua Zhang, M.D., Margaret Schuch, HSHS Medical Group and St. Elizabeth’s Hospital. The plaintiff is represented by Samantha Unsell of Keefe Keefe & Unsell PC in Belleville.
According to the complaint. Eric Lewis was under the defendants’ care when general anesthesia was administered. However, the plaintiff alleges the defendants failed to consult with the decedent’s cardiologist administering the general anesthesia. The plaintiff alleges the defendants administered the medication in a patient with multiple risk factors without taking appropriate history and conducting a physical beforehand. The suit also states that the defendants chose to use laryngeal mask airway in a patient with an increased risk of aspiration.
As a result, Eric Lewis died on May 10, 2018.
Eric Lewis’ wife, Julia Lewis, seeks compensation of more than $75,000 for each count, plus court costs.
Zhang, Schuch and HSHS Medical Group filed separate answers to the complaint on July 1 through attorney Kenneth Burke of Brown & James PC in Belleville. Each defendant denies liability.
St. Elizabeth’s Hospital answered the complaint on June 17 through attorney Michael Nester of Donovan Rose Nester PC in Belleville, denying liability.
In its affirmative defenses, St. Elizabeth’s Hospital argues that any alleged injuries were the result of the plaintiff’s own comparative fault or the negligence of parties other than the defendant.
St. Elizabeth’s also argues that the plaintiff’s claim is barred by the applicable statute of limitations.
St. Clair County Circuit Judge Heinz Rudolf scheduled a status conference for Aug. 12 at 9 a.m.
St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 19-L-399