Crowder to open re-trial of 2003 wrongful death case Tuesday

Amelia Flood Jul. 15, 2010, 6:53am



A wrongful death suit against a doctor and his practice is set for a second trial on Tuesday in Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder's courtroom.

Crowder oversaw the first trial three years ago when a jury found for defendants Dr. Patrick Zimmermann and his practice, Family Medicine Associates P.C., in a suit brought the husband of a woman who died from an allegedly misdiagnosed skin cancer.

The plaintiff in the case, Doug Storm, suing as husband and administrator of the estate of Maria Storm, appealed the 2007 verdict, winning a new trial in 2009.

The suit's second trial is set to open at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Maria and Doug Storm first filed suit against Zimmermann and his practice alleging negligence.

The Storms claimed that Zimmermann failed to properly evaluate a skin lesion found on Maria Storm, failed to order a biopsy and ultimately failed to diagnose malignant melanoma in 1999.

Maria Storm was eventually diagnosed with cancer in 2003.

The couple filed suit the same year.

Maria Storm died from the cancer two years later.

The suit was amended to include loss of consortium claims and wrongful death claims.

The suit currently seeks damages in excess of $50,000 a count and costs.

The defendants deny the claims.

The suit's original trial opened with testimony Jan. 17, 2007.

The jury returned a verdict for the defendants Jan. 31, 2007.

About a month later, the plaintiff filed a post-trial motion that alleged that their right to a fair trial was denied.

Doug Storm pointed to juror John Provence, claiming that Provence lied during voir dire about his role as a defendant in two pending personal injury cases in Madison County.

The plaintiff further contended the jury also found in favor of the defendants against the weight of the evidence.

Crowder denied the move for a new trial but was reversed by the Fifth District Appellate Court.

The plaintiff is represented by Rex Carr and Troy Walton.

Zimmermann is represented by Ted Dennis.

Family Medicine Associates is represented by Michael Murphy.

Another defendant in the case, Dr. James Dalla Riva was dismissed voluntarily by the plaintiffs in December 2006.

The case is Madison case number 03-L-999.

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