Medical malpractice suit alleges Belleville physician performed unnecessary heart procedure

A patient is suing a Belleville hospital, claiming one of its doctors performed an unnecessary heart procedure and damaged an artery.

Plaintiff Larry Crunk filed a lawsuit in the St. Clair County Circuit Court against St. Elizabeth’s Hospital of the Hospital Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis and Paban Saha, M.D., citing medical malpractice.

The lawsuit was filed through attorneys Lloyd M. Cueto, Christopher Cueto and James E. Radcliffe of Belleville.

According to the lawsuit, Saha was an employee of St. Elizabeth’s Hospital of the Hospital Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis. In October 2020, Crunk was a patient of the defendants for a heart procedure. Prior to the procedure, Crunk was already determined to likely need open heart surgery.

The lawsuit states that during the procedure, Saha and other employees of St. Elizabeth’s damaged an artery, which caused internal bleeding and a massive hematoma. After trying and failing to stop the bleeding for three hours, surgery was performed to address the issue. Afterwards, Crunk was a patient at St. Elizabeth’s for nine days. Crunk states that after being discharged from St. Elizabeth’s, nurses had to treat the would twice a week and his wife Julie had to dress the wound every day until he underwent open heart surgery in November 2021. In January 2021, 11 months before his open heart surgery, Crunk’s wound reopened, causing him to need further treatment.

The lawsuit alleges Saha committed medical malpractice by performing an unnecessary heart procedure on Crunk when he was already deemed to need open heart surgery in the near future. Crunk claims the procedure caused him unnecessary pain and suffering, disability, mental anguish and impacted his ability to lead a normal life and earn income. Crunk adds that the procedure caused him to incur unnecessary medical expenses and that he will continue to require medical care to recover from his injuries.

Crunk is seeking damages in excess of $50,000, plus court costs and any other relief the court deems proper.

This article was first published in Madison Record.

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