A medical malpractice lawsuit was filed Friday against SSM Health Care-St. Louis and a local neurosurgeon for allegedly operating on the wrong side of a woman’s skull and brain.

The patient, Regina Turner, 53, of St. Ann, was scheduled on April 4 for a “left-sided craniotomy bypass” at St. Clare Health Center in Fenton, according to a complaint filed in the Circuit Court of St. Louis County in Clayton.

Instead, she received a “right-sided craniotomy surgical procedure,” the suit alleges.

Turner now is unable to speak intelligibly, according to her Clayton-based lawyer, Alvin Wolff Jr. Once the operating team realized they had made an error, a second surgery was performed six days later on the correct side of Turner’s skull.

The suit accuses SSM and the neurosurgeon — who is identified by the initials “A.L.” — with negligence and carelessness that led to a wrong-site surgery.

“Before the incorrect surgery, plaintiff was mobile, cognizant and able to care for herself,” the suit alleges. “After the incorrect surgery, (Turner) requires around-the-clock care for her basic needs. ... (She) will also continue to suffer from emotional distress, anxiety, disfigurement and depression.”

SSM officials declined to comment specifically about the pending litigation.

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