Jury finds for plaintiff in Alton nursing home negligence suit

Amelia Flood Sep. 22, 2009, 9:58am


It took a Madison County jury less than two hours to deliberate in a negligence suit against Rosewood Care Center of Alton on Tuesday.

They only had to consider what damages to award after Madison County Circuit Judge Andy Matoesian struck the defendant's pleadings on the negligence issue and directed the verdict on the liability issues for the plaintiff. Matoesian struck the pleadings without a motion asking him to.

The jury found for plaintiff Clifford Emons after a trial that started late Monday afternoon and finished early Tuesday morning.

Neither party was available for comment following the trial.

The jury awarded Emons $5,000 his claim of wrongful death and $15,000 for what he claimed was a violation of the Nursing Home Care Act.

Emons sued the nursing home on behalf of the estate of Jane Schwartz. According to court documents, Jane Schwartz fell while at the Alton facility, breaking her wrist and hip.

It is the second verdict this year against the Rosewood Care Center chain in Madison County. Another negligence suit against the nursing home's Edwardsville location went to trial earlier this year in Madison County Circuit Judge David Hylla's courtroom.

That suit was also brought on behalf of an estate, by plaintiff Paul Graves on behalf of his deceased father. Emons brought his suit on behalf of the estate of Jane Schwartz.

The jury in the Graves' suit found for Paul Graves and awarded damages totaling about $150,000 over his father's fractured hip.

Rosewood's attorney, Dennis McCubbin, who also represented Rosewood Care Center in Alton, has moved for a new trial in the Graves case, citing juror misrepresentation and bias.

McCubbin had tried to move this week's trial in Alton suit, citing a trial he must appear at in Will County early next week but was denied by Matoesian.

McCubbin represented Rosewood in the Emons' and Graves' suits.

Doug Mendenhall represented Emons.

The case is Madison case number 04-L-535.

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