Plaintiff's case continues in Rosewood negligence trial

Amelia Flood Feb. 19, 2010, 10:16am

A negligence trial against an Edwardsville nursing home continued into its fourth day Friday as the plaintiff called more witnesses.

The trial opened at 10 a.m. with the testimony of the plastic surgeon who primarily treated Gerald Flanary for a pressure ulcer which is at the heart of the case.

Gerald Flanary's wife, Martha Flanary, is suing Rosewood Care Center of Edwardsville as administrator of her husband's estate.

She claims that Rosewood violated its own standards of care and those set down by the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act by failing to treat her husband's wound and allowing his condition to deteriorate.

Martha Flanary also claims the nursing home failed to notify her or her husband's doctor of the change in his condition.

She is seeking damages of at least $50,000 per count.

Previous witnesses testified that while Rosewood had been found to be in violation of its standard of care by the Illinois Department of Public Health in the case, it had not been found to be neglectful of Gerald Flanary.

Rosewood argues that Flanary's own physician may have contributed to the worsening of the wound and that his diabetes could have played a role.

The defense raised a number of objections during the testimony of Dr. Michael Beatty over what it claimed were speculations and assumptions about what kind of care Gerald Flanary received at the nursing home in December 2003.

At several points, defense attorney Dennis McCubbin and plaintiff's attorney Robert Gregory moved to chambers with presiding judge, Madison County Chief Judge Ann Callis, to discuss issues out of the jury's hearing.

Beatty testified that he had treated a pressure ulcer on Gerald Flanary's left heel and written follow up orders for the Rosewood staff.

He testified that he believed the nursing staff at the nursing home had not followed his orders as the wound grew progressively worse.

Beatty also defended his removal of the blister that formed over the wound and dead tissue on Dec. 19, calling it "unbelievable" that other witnesses and McCubbin said it wasn't the proper treatment.

During a break around 11 a.m., McCubbin asked Callis to allow him to broach the topic of a previous foot ulcer with Beatty. Callis had previously ruled that it was not relevant.

McCubbin claimed the door was opened by the surgeon's claims that Gerald Flanary's wound would not have gotten worse had Beatty been fully aware of Flanary's deterioration.

"It's just this simple to me," McCubbin argued. "Let me question this miracle worker and see how well he healed him." Gregory argued the other ulcer was separate condition and did not impact Martha Flanary's claims.

Callis agreed with Gregory.

The trial is set to resume Monday.

Callis is presiding over the case's trial instead of assigned judge, Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder, because Crowder was scheduled to preside over a different trial that also started Tuesday.

The Flanary case is Madison case number 05-L-747.

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