Madison - St. Clair Record

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Hospital faces wrongful death suit, claim deceased not moved to intensive care in time

State Court

By John Breslin | Dec 11, 2019


BELLEVILLE - A hospital is facing a wrongful death suit from a relative who claims the deceased was not moved to an intensive care unit in time.

Leola Stark, as the administrator of the estate of Ernest J. Higginbottom, filed suit Nov. 25 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Touchette Regional Hospital. The hospital did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Record.

She claims hospital staff "negligently and carelessly failed to properly and timely follow doctor's orders," which it is alleged caused such a delay in diagnosis that "massive" internal bleeding followed.

Further, Higginbottom should have been transferred to the intensive care unit and a surgeon notified, the complaint alleges. Hospital staff also failed "to properly order appropriate blood transfusion orders."

Higginbottom died on Aug. 29, 2017, the same day he was admitted to the hospital, the complaint states.

His death has led to "grief, sorrow and permanent injuries and damages to the Decedent' s next of kin who have been deprived of the reasonable value of his services, companionship, comfort, instruction, guidance, counsel, training, love and support."

As administrator of the estate, Stark is seeking more than $50,000 in damages from the hospital.

She is represented by  Joseph A. Bartholomew of Bartholomew, Shevlin & Cook in Belleville.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 2019-L-821.

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Touchette Regional Hospital Inc.

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