Stack to hear motion to dismiss suit against St. Louis Neurological Institute, doctor

Amelia Flood Aug. 31, 2010, 12:11pm


A St. Louis-based neurological practice is moving to dismiss a suit filed earlier this summer by the parents of a disabled adult who claim their son was not prescribed the right medicines and testing to prevent him from having frequent seizures.

Plaintiffs Sherry and James Scott of Bethalto, acting as guardians for their son Bryan Scott, are suing Dr. Daniel Mattson and St. Louis Neurological Institute Inc. (SLNI) for damages in excess of $50,000 and costs.

St. Louis Neurological Institute moved to dismiss the Scotts' case July 19, claiming that the plaintiffs do not allege the malpractice took place in Illinois and that there is not the requisite contact in the case to meet the requirements of the Illinois "long-arm," statute.

Madison County Circuit Judge Daniel Stack is set to hear the motion Thursday at 9 a.m.

According to their complaint, the Scotts took their son to the institute and Mattson due to a seizure condition he suffered from in May 2008.

They claim the defendants changed their son's medication during the course of his treatment.

The plaintiffs allege the defendants did not listen to their concerns about increasing seizure activity, did not examine their son or do a proper medical history, failed to test and follow-up with their son and that they did not recognize they should have changed his medication to prevent the increase in seizures.

As a result, the plaintiffs claim their son was hospitalized a year later due to the seizures.

In the motion to dismiss, the institute points out that all of Bryan Scott's treatment took place in Missouri, not Illinois.

It argues it has no offices or staff in Illinois.

The defendant claims that it did not conduct any of the 14 activities required to meet the "long arm" statute and that the court does not have jurisdiction over it.

"Given that none of the grounds for jurisdiction found in the Illinois long-arm statute are applicable to the case at bar, and given that an exercise of jurisdiction by this Court against SLNI would offend the traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice . . . SLNI prays this Court to . . . dismiss the Complaint," the motion reads.

In their Aug. 16 response, the Scotts counter that the court has general personal jurisdiction because the defendants were doing business in Illinois.

The plaintiffs point to the requirement that the defendants file for licenses to practice medicine in Illinois, that they have malpractice insurance above the Missouri limit in order to practice in Illinois and that all of the members of SLNI are on staff at Alton Memorial Hospital.

The motion goes on to name specific instances of Mattson and SLNI members seeing patients at the Alton hospital and other medical centers in Illinois.

A motion to dismiss that Mattson filed was denied Aug. 27.
SLNI withdrew a motion to dismiss for failure to file an affidavit in the case the same day.

That motion was set for hearing Sept. 3.

The case had previously been assigned to Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder.

The Scotts are represented by Thomas Falb.

The defendants are represented by J. Thadde Eckenrode.

The case is Madison case number 10-L-482.

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