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Granite City woman sues abortion clinic, doctor

Saturday, May 3, 2008 12:10 PM CDT

Granite City Press-Record

A lawsuit has been filed against a Granite City abortion clinic by a woman who contends the doctor she OK'd to perform her abortion was switched out just before the procedure.

Brandy Hildreth, 26, of Granite City, had consented in writing to receive an abortion from a "Dr. Palmer" at the Hope Clinic for Women, 1602 21st St. in Granite City, on Feb. 8, according to a four-page complaint filed in Third District Circuit Court April 23.

After the procedure, Hildreth found out that Dr. Lisa M. Memmel, a second-year fellow at the clinic, had performed the abortion, the filing shows.Hildreth "was unaware of the specific identity" of who was performing the abortion during the procedure, the documents said.

She is suing Hope Clinic and Memmel for medical battery and seeks $50,000 for injuries, emotional harm and expenses.

Rhonda D. Fiss, a Belleville lawyer who filed the case for Hildreth, did not return calls Wednesday and Thursday.

The lawsuit does not give the first name of "Dr. Palmer," but various reports have said Dr. Allen S. Palmer, who state records show is affiliated with Gateway Regional Medical Center in Granite City , works at the clinic.

Clinic Executive Director Sally Burgess referred questions to the facility's lawyer, Mark Levy, who would also not confirm the identity of Palmer.

He also denied that the clinic violated its agreement and said the form that Hildreth signed before the abortion indicated only who would be supervising the procedure, not performing it.

"You have a doctor that's going to be a supervisor," he said Wednesday. "It's doesn't say he's going to perform the surgery."

The form does not say that Memmel would be conducting the abortion, he said.

Levy said it's common for various doctors and staff to be involved in the procedure.

"There may be two to three doctors in any kind of surgery," he said. "It would be heck of thing for every hospital to have to have every person in operating room be on a consent form."

Levy said Memmel was at the clinic through a program with the University of Chicago Medical Center, where she is a fellow. Court documents also list Memmel as a obstetrics-gynecology hospitalist at Little Company of Mary Hospital in Evergreen.

Memmel has had no legal or disciplinary actions filed against her since she received certification two years ago, state records show.

The case is the latest in a series of legal actions filed in recent years against the privately owned clinic, which opened in 1974.

The facility in June agreed to settle a lawsuit filed by anti-abortion protestors who said workers assaulted them outside the Granite City building in 2000.

The clinic has also sparked several lawsuits about limits on placards displayed around the facility and at community events.

To support and encourage Daniel and Angela please contact them - 
smallvictories@juno.com (email), 618-654-5800 (phone), 
or write them Small Victories P.O. Box 143 Highland, IL 62249.