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Former Colorado doctor faces malpractice charges in Illinois

An Illinois neurosurgeon faces four lawsuits stemming from accusations of medical malpractice. The case closest to going to trial involves a woman from Poplar Grove, Illinois, who had surgery on the left side of her back. Her lawsuit claims that after the surgery, problems in her right foot became worse.

While practicing medicine in Colorado, the doctor admitted to four serious surgical errors and agreed to allow her Colorado medical license to be placed on inactive status. At the time she accepted this plan, the state did not consider such an agreement to be a disciplinary action. This policy has since been changed.

The hospital that hired her in Illinois was aware of her issues in Colorado, and even prepared a media plan in case her past malpractice suits became an issue. What was discussed by the Illinois hospital credentialing board that recommended her hiring is unknown because the process is kept confidential under state law. This lack of information is listed in the Poplar Grove woman's lawsuit. The woman claims that she asked both the doctor and the hospital about the doctor's record in Colorado, but wasn't informed of all the issues by either party.

It is important for patients to thoroughly investigate a doctor before surgery if at all possible. However, sometimes state regulations make it difficult for all the facts to be presented to the patient. If there are post-surgical complications that may be caused by physician error, an attorney with experience in medical malpractice may be able to offer assistance. A well-crafted case may allow for a fair settlement that covers further medical treatment to correct the problems and possible monetary compensation for punitive damages.

Source: Rockford Register Star, "Doctor sued in Rockford had trouble in Colorado, too", Melissa Westphal, Dec. 18, 2012

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