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Woman Wins Suit Against Hospital

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A Crestwood woman who filed a lawsuit against a Joliet hospital alleging it let an unqualified podiatrist operate on her left foot, leading to its amputation, was awarded $7.7 million in damages Friday by a Cook County jury.

Jean Frigo, 56, who has diabetes, went to Silver Cross Hospital in October 1998 to have a bunion removed from her foot, according to a statement released by her lawyer Friday.  Dr. Paul Krichner, a podiatrist with surgical privileges at the hospital, operated on the foot, even though a diabetic ulcer had grown on the bunion, Frigo's suit alleged.

Such ulcers can cause infections, and the suit alleged that as a result of the surgery and the doctor's lack of proper surgical training, the bones in the foot became severely infected.  In August 1999, Frigo's left foot was amputated at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood and she is considered permanently disabled.

"The hospital is planning to appeal," Said Tracy Simons, a spokeswoman for Silver Cross.

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