Articles Posted in Wrongful Death

SLUCare.jpgA St. Louis medical malpractice case ended with the jury finding in favor of the defendant SLUCare and against the plaintiff after a 50 minute deliberation on Friday, June 11, 2010. Barbara Williams, of Arkansas, was diagnosed with liver disease in St. Louis, Missouri. The doctor, Dr. Alex Befeler, a doctor at St. Louis University Liver Transplant Center, decided that Williams needed a liver transplant, but that due to Medicaid rules would have to have the evaluation and any transplant surgery done in Arkansas, where she resided. Williams eventually died, 6 weeks after the evaluation for a liver transplant began in Arkansas.

Williams’s family alleged that Dr. Befeler should have evaluated Williams himself in St. Louis. Williams had already been diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver prior to seeing Dr. Befeler. When she first saw Dr. Befeler, he diagnosed her with cirrhosis with autoimmune hepatitis overlap, and ordered treatment with prednisone, weekly lab work, and told her to come visit once a month.
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Emergency_room.jpgOn Tuesday, the Missouri Supreme Court reversed a verdict entered in favor of the defendant doctor in a medical malpractice and wrongful death case tried in St. Louis County. At trial, the plaintiff, Elizabeth Mitchell, claimed her Husband’s doctor, Dr. Milton Kardesch, committed medical malpractice and caused the wrongful death of her Husband in failing to instruct her to send her Husband to the emergency room during a phone call she made on behalf of her Husband after he awoke from a nightmare clutching his chest. Dr. Kardesch claimed he did instruct Mrs. Mitchell to send her Husband to the emergency room. Mrs. Mitchell’s Husband subsequently died from complications arising from myocardial infarction and arteriosclerosis.

The issue on appeal was whether the trial court erred in prohibiting Mitchell’s attorney from questioning Dr. Kardesch about a false answer he gave during his deposition. In that regard, Dr. Kardesch testified in deposition that he had never been suspended from practicing medicine, despite the fact his medical license had been suspended in both Missouri and New York. The Supreme Court found error, holding that because Dr. Kardesch’s credibility was such an important issue in the case, MItchell’s attorney should have been allowed to ask Dr. Kardesch about his inaccurate deposition answer at trial.

MLK bridge.jpgChivas Day, of St. Louis, Missouri, was sentenced to 11 years in prison for his role in the St. Louis area traffic accident that killed Matthew Cole, 23, of Maryville, Illinois. Matthew Cole was driving home from work on the Martin Luther King Bridge when Chivas Day, who was driving under the influence of ecstasy and marijuana, crossed the center line and hit Cole’s car head-on. Chivas Day was driving over 100 miles per hour, and the police reported that the gas pedal was fully compressed at the time the accident occurred.

Chivas Day also suffered severe personal injuries because of the automobile accident, including a broken leg, arm, neck, and ankle, and had severe head injuries. Urine tests showed the presence of marijuana and ecstasy, but blood tests taken at the hospital did not show the presence of any drugs or alcohol in Day’s system. Either way, Day was driving at speeds well over the speed limit when he hit Cole’s car. Further, Day was driving with a revoked licensed at the time of the car crash.

dirty wine glass.jpgSt. Charles resident Joseph S. Potter has sued his estranged wife, Alyssa Rae Potter for the death of their son, Wyatt Potter. The St. Charles wrongful death suit was filed in May 2010. Wyatt was 6 weeks old when he died of suffocation. On November 19, 2009, Alyssa had been in charge of watching Wyatt when she drank 3 or 4 glasses of wine before allowing Wyatt to sleep next to her in her bed, where she promptly fell asleep. Wyatt died of suffocation.

Alyssa had been charged with child endangerment but those charges were dropped. A grand jury decided not to indict her. The St. Charles County medical examiner determined Wyatt died of accidental suffocation. Joseph Potter’s lawsuit alleges that Alyssa had put Wyatt face down on her bed and then rolled on top of him. Police have determined that they do not know what really happened that night.
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Thumbnail image for Don't_Mix_'Em_1937.jpgNewton Keene, a St. Louis area man, was sentenced to 28 years in prison today for his role in a traffic accident that killed three. Keene was driving drunk when he drove the wrong way down I-255 in Illinois, and he hit a car driven by Tawanda Jackson, who was driving to her grandmother’s funeral with her friend and children. Tawanda, her 9-year old son, and her friend were killed. Tawanda’s daughter survived.

Keene was a repeat Missouri DWI offender, as well as having DWIs in Illinois, and had a total of at least 5 DWIs at the time of the crash. He had already served time in prison for his fifth DWI. His blood alcohol content was 0.240 at the time of the incident. Keene pleaded guilty to 3 counts of aggravated drunk driving that resulted in death, and one count of aggravated drunk driving that resulted in bodily injury.
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Yellow semi.jpgThe St. Louis area truck crash on June 2, 2010 killed two people, and the truck driver is being blamed. The accident happened in Jefferson County, Missouri, around 12:30 on Interstate 55. A 28 year old woman from Festus Missouri and a 52 year old man, who was believed to be a transient worker, were killed. The accident involved 8 vehicles.

The truck driver was Jay Valentine from Texas. He reported that he took his eyes off the road, and when he returned his attention to the roadway, traffic had slowed. He was unable to stop in time before hitting the vehicles. He had attempted to swerve, but was unable to avoid colliding with a Ford Focus, which set off a chain reaction that left 2 dead and others suffering personal injury.
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A Missouri wrongful death case filed by the family of a teenage boy killed during a police chase has settled.police car

Missouri residents John and Cheryl Cooper have settled with the Independence Police Department for $275,000 for the death of their son, Christopher Cooper. Christopher was killed by a vehicle involved in a police chase. He was crossing the street on his bike when an automobile being chased by the Independence police struck and killed him. The trial in this wrongful death case was scheduled to begin on Monday, May 3, 2010.

The man who hit Christopher, Wilfredo Pujols, was sentenced to 15 years in prison. He was charged with second degree murder, DWI, and leaving the scene of an accident.

stairs.JPGA wrongful death suit has been filed in St. Louis County against the police officers who allegedly pushed a man down a flight of stairs to his death. The family members of Kenneth Hamilton allege that three Overland, Missouri police officers used excessive force by pushing Hamilton down about 11 stairs and that they denied Hamilton medical treatment by leaving his apartment without getting him any medical help.

Hamilton died of a brain injury five days after the St. Louis area police officers allegedly pushed him down the stairs. One Overland officer, Andrew Ringeisen, of Troy, Missouri, has been charged with involuntary manslaughter by the St. Louis County Prosecutor, 10SL-CR02380.
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Thumbnail image for 1796548344_f03cae6ee7.jpgWrongful death and personal injury lawsuits have been filed St. Louis by the families of two St. Louis, Missouri area men that were killed in the shooting at ABB Inc. earlier this year. The families have sued the security firm Securitas Security Services and two security guards employed by Securitas for damages for the death and personal injuries of their loved ones. Three people who were injured in the shooting are also part of the lawsuit, and they also brought claims for emotional distress. They are being represented by Edward Hereshewe of Joplin, Missouri.

The lawsuit, filed last month in St. Louis Circuit Court, alleges that the security firm and its employees were negligent by not preventing the shooter, Tim Hendron, from bringing guns into the building, by not subduing him once he was in the building, and by not warning employees. Hendron, of Webster Groves, Missouri, was a disgruntled employee who was part of a class action suit against ABB Inc. over pension plan fees. Hendron came into ABB Inc. the day of the shooting with an assault rifle, two shotguns and a pistol. He killed three people and wounded five others.
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bar01.jpgSt. Louis area police officer, Christine L. Miller, has settled the wrongful death lawsuit filed against her by the families of the four deceased passengers involved in the traffic accident caused by Miller while she was driving drunk in March 2009.

Miller, a Sunset Hills police officer, was off-duty when she had been drinking at O’Leary’s Pub on South Lindbergh the night of March 21, 2009. After leaving the pub, she drove her car into oncoming traffic in Des Peres Missouri, striking the automobile carrying the four deceased. O’Leary’s Pub was also a party to the lawsuit, for its role in serving alcohol to Miller. The total amount of the settlement is $2.25 million dollars, the limit of Miller’s and O’Leary’s insurance policies. The families of the deceased will each receive $331,375.

Under Missouri’s dram shop law, a bar can be held liable for serving alcohol to an intoxicated person which later results in the death or injury of a person, but the burden of proof is “clear and convincing evidence” which can be a difficult burden for a plaintiff to meet. Had the plaintiffs taken this case to trial, they would have had a high burden of proof to overcome to succeed in a case against O’Leary’s.