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Lawsuit claims delays by St. Peter's caused woman's death

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St. Peter’s Health (copy)

St. Peter’s Health in Helena. 

The estate of a woman who died from cancer is suing St. Peter’s Health, saying it dismissed her oncologist without a backup plan, delayed the results of a CT scan and removed the doctor before the woman could receive treatment.

Carol Aronen had a history of cancer. Aronen was treated with surgery and under the care of Dr. Thomas Weiner, who was fired by St. Peter’s Health in 2020. He has sued the hospital in a pending wrongful termination suit.

Aronen was a patient of Weiner at the time of his dismissal, her lawsuit states. Weiner had ordered a CT scan for Aronen. The hospital took over care of his patients when he was released. The suit states she received her results four months after her appointment with Weiner had been canceled. The results determined she had Stage 4 cancer.

Computerized tomography (CT) combines X-ray images taken from different angles around the body and uses a computer to produce images of a cross-section of the body.

She died July 14, 2021. She was 74 and a resident of Lewis and Clark County.

“The administration put profits over patients and took away Carol’s rights to her physicians,” the June 10 claim filed in 1st District Judicial Court in Lewis and Clark County by Great Falls attorney Daniel J. Flaherty states.

Aronen’s lawsuit states the replacement staff for Weiner were “understaffed, undertrained and without adequate preparation.”

St. Peter’s Health, in its Aug. 1 response, admits that Aronen was a patient being treated by Weiner and that he had ordered a CT scan for her, but either denies the other allegations or says it does not have “sufficient information” to respond.

The response by Helena attorneys Sara S. Berg and Daniel J. Auerbach representing the hospital also said the injuries were caused by superseding intervening causes of which the hospital had no control. They said they have not completed discovery in the case and reserve the right to amend their answer.

The estate seeks a jury trial, all compensatory damages allowed by law, punitive damages, costs and fees and any other damages the court deem appropriate.

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Assistant editor Phil Drake can be reached at 406-231-9021.

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Assistant Editor/Reporter

Phil Drake is the assistant editor and reporter at the Independent Record.

Related to this story

St. Peter’s Health has asked for a change of venue in a lawsuit filed by its former oncologist against the health care facility, saying the Helena-area community has been exposed to gossip and innuendo, putting the possibility of a fair trial at risk.

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