Case management set in Highland surgeon's case

Amelia Flood Nov. 17, 2009, 3:59am

A case management conference is set Nov. 25 in a negligence suit over a woman's death from a rare kidney infection.

Although the case ended in a verdict for the defendant in April, Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder in July ordered a new trial due to a defense witness violation.

Plaintiff Russell Darbon sued Dr. Jose Diaz Jr. of Highland for what he claims was the surgeon's negligence that led to the death of his ex-wife, Virginia Gettys in January 2004. Darbon is acting as the special administrator of Gettys' estate on behalf of the couple's two children.

The defense had indicated that it would appeal that new trial ruling.

According to Darbon's suit, Diaz failed to diagnose Gettys' kidney
infection, performed unnecessary surgery, and failed to transfer her to a facility with an infectious disease specialist in a timely manner.

During the April trial, medical experts from both sides
acknowledged the rarity of Gettys' infection and the difficulty in treating it.

Defense expert Dr. Richard Quigg of Chicago testified about other possible conditions that Gettys could have been suffering from at the time of her death. During his testimony, which drew several objections from the plaintiff's table, he mentioned "leukemia." That mention was barred by a motion in limine.

Although Crowder overruled plaintiff's attorney Jon Carlson's objection and call for a new trial at the time, she later agreed with his that it was a reason to order a new trial.

Jurors found for Diaz.

Diaz is represented by Timothy Richards and others.

Darbon is represented by Jon Carlson and others.

The case management conference is set to begin at 9 a.m.

case is Madison case number 04-L-1427.

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