Med mal client sues Alton attorney for legal mal

Steve Gonzalez Sep. 19, 2005, 11:38am

Madison County's so-called friendly venue was not nice, indeed, for Alton plaintiff's attorney Robert Larson on Monday. His medical malpractice client sued him for legal malpractice.

Allen Greeling, of Madison County, claims Larson should have filed his wife's wrongful death suit in St. Louis County where her primary treatment by providers Christian Hospital Northeast-Northwest and Irwin Plisco, M.D., occurred.

Seeking in excess of $50,000 in damages, Greeling filed suit in Madison County Circuit Court Sept. 19. He also alleges Larson did not respond timely to motions filed by defendants.

Greeling claims on July 21, 2001, he hired Larson to prosecute a claim regarding the death of his wife, Jessica, who died on Oct. 21, 2000, at the age of 42. Greeling alleged negligent medical treatment by the hospital and physician.

According to Greeling, all the medical treatment leading to the death of his wife took place in St. Louis County, but Larson filed a complaint in Madison County on Oct. 11, 2002.

On March 14, 2003, the case was removed from Madison County to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois based upon "diversity of citizenship."

According to the complaint, Christian Hospital filed a motion to dismiss on Aug. 15, 2003, or in the alternative, transfer venue, based upon lack of jurisdiction. On Aug. 27, 2003, Plisco filed a motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction.

“Larson never filed a response on Greeling’s behalf to either of the motions,” the complaint states.

Greeling claims that on Oct. 20, 2003, the federal court granted the motions, and dismissed, without prejudice, for refiling in a court of competent jurisdiction.

“It was the duty of Larson to re-file the suits against Christian Hospital and Dr. Plisco in a court of competent jurisdiction within one year of the dismissals, or the claims would be forever barred,” the complaint states.

According to Greeling, he did not discover that his case against Christian and Plisco were dismissed and re-filed until April 8.

Greeling claims that Larson was negligent by failing to re-file the suit against Christian Hospital and Plisco in a court of competent jurisdiction within the applicable time limit, making him unable to recoup damages from Christian Hospital and Plisco.

Greeling is represented by Martin Mengarelli of Andrews and Mengarelli of Granite City.

The case will be assigned to the judge who will replace the retired Phillip Kardis.

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