Trial opens in medical malpractice suit against Belleville doctor

Amelia Flood Apr. 26, 2010, 11:41am

A medical malpractice suit stemming from the death of a boy 10 years ago went to a jury in St. Clair County on Monday morning.

St. Clair County Associate Judge Andrew Gleeson told prospective jurors shortly before 3 p.m. that a panel would be picked at 3:30 p.m.

The trial will resume Tuesday.

Plaintiff Ronnika Watson is suing Dr. Danuta Pikul of Belleville for allegedly failing to monitor her son's condition as it deteriorated. The complaint alleges Pikul failed to treat the boy for meningococcemia/septic shock.

Watson's suit seeks damages of at least $50,000 and costs.

St. Elizabeth's Hospital was also named as a defendant in Watson's original 2008 complaint.

Watson has alleged that her son, Darrell Banks Jr., went to St. Elizabeth's emergency room with a high fever, high blood pressure and other symptoms on April 22, 2000.

The boy's condition worsened until he died later that night.

His death was ruled by a coroner to have been caused by sepsis.

Watson originally filed suit in 2002. That suit was dismissed without prejudice five years later. It was refiled two years ago.

Pikul is represented by James Mendillo and others.

Watson is represented by Gregory Wittner and others.

The case is St. Clair case number 08-L-332.

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