Son testifies his father died before tests performed

Steve Gonzalez May 3, 2006, 5:40pm

Two children who lost both parents in two years, sat in a Madison County courtroom Wednesday finishing the business their late mother started when she filed a wrongful death suit against Dr. Dolores Cantrell in 2004.

Represented by Morris Chapman of Granite City, Carolyn Schur, who took over as the guardian of the estate for the late Pamela Hoppe on Oct. 15, 2004, began her presentation of evidence against Cantrell in Circuit Judge Daniel Stack's court.

Schur alleges that Cantrell failed to recognize William Hoppe's symptoms of unstable angina, failed to adequately and promptly treat the angina and failed to send him to a cardiologist for immediate help.

Pamela Hoppe originally filed the suit, but shortly after filing the case, she also suddenly died, leaving Schur as the guardian of both estates.

Representing Cantrell, Richard Hunsaker of Heyl Royester told the jury during opening arguments that Cantell did meet the standard of care and that his expert witnesses would also tell them the same story.

William Hoppe was seen by Cantrell on July 18, 2003, with chest pains, elbow pain, sweating and shortness of breath.

According to Hunsaker, Cantrell ordered an EKG on the spot, which came back normal and then scheduled a stress test, urine test, lipid profile, CBC, Chem 12, and ultra-sound and x-rays for the next week at a local hospital.

William Hoppe never made the appointment, according to the testimony of his son, William Hoppe III, age 19. He said he found his father on the bathroom floor the next morning and called 911, but that it was too late, his father had already died.

Chapman contends that Cantrell did not meet the burden of care and plans to call several experts to testify accordingly.

The trial is expected to last until late next week.

Stack was assigned the case in December, when Cantrell filed for a change of judge from Circuit Judge Nicholas Byron.

Hoppe's estate is seeking damages well in excess of $50,000, claiming his children have been deprived of large sums of money and valuable services he would have provided.

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