Callis to hear doctors' motion to dismiss fetal wrongful death case

Amelia Flood Sep. 7, 2010, 9:43am


A Madison County judge is set to hear moves by two area obstetrician-gynecologists to throw out a wrongful death suit brought by a patient who claims her baby died before birth.

Dr. James Dalla Riva and Dr. Thomas Hulsen filed their moves to dismiss the suit brought by Kathryn Ball in May.

Ball contends that the Maryville doctors failed to warn her about the risk a migraine medication she was taking posed to her unborn child and that the baby died just under a month before its due date.

The doctors are moving to dismiss the suit for want of prosecution.

Madison County Associate Judge Clarence Harrison II set the motions for hearing later this month after continuing them Aug. 25.

The case is currently assigned to Madison County Chief Judge Ann Callis.

The new hearing date is Sept. 29 at 9 a.m.

In her suit, Ball claims the doctors knew she was taking the migraine drug Inderal when she became pregnant in 2003.

Ball's baby was due to be born in April 2004.

According to the complaint, Inderal carries a risk of placental insufficiency and other problems that threatened the life of Ball's child.

Ball claims that Dalla Riva and Hulsen did not warn her of Inderal's risks, failed to properly monitor the child and placenta and that they kept her on the migraine drug during her pregnancy.

Ball's child died March 29, 2004.

The plaintiff seeks damages in excess of $400,000 and costs.

Ball's attorney, Donald Flack of Wood River, withdrew from the case June 25.

Ball was given 45 days to find a new attorney.

Ball, who is listed in the case file as representing herself, did not appear at an Aug. 25 case management conference.

Dalla Riva won a trial in another medical malpractice suit filed by a former patient last month. Hulsen was also named in that case, brought by plaintiff Penny Keller, but was dropped from the case before a verdict was entered.

Paul Lynch represents Dalla Riva. He represented him in the Keller case as well.

Michael Pitzer represents Hulsen.

The case is Madison case number 09-L-088.

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