Hospital's, doctor's motion to dismiss medical malpractice suit pushed back

Amelia Flood Feb. 11, 2011, 2:30am

A move by the owners of Anderson hospital and one of their physicians to dismiss a wrongful death case has been continued.

Madison County Circuit Judge William Mudge had been set to hear the motion to dismiss the case brought by Pamela Richards as special administrator of the estate of Juanita Ludwig on Feb. 4.

According to an order signed on that day, the matter has been reset for hearing Feb. 18 at 9 a.m.

Richards claims that Anderson and Dr. Stephen Striegel failed to properly diagnose Ludwig with a perforated colon and failed to operate on it to release trapped air.

That failure, the plaintiff contends, led Ludwig to develop an infection that killed her in February 2007.

The suit seeks damages in excess of $50,000 and other relief.

The defendants have moved to dismiss the case citing a lack of prosecution and the fact that under Illinois law, Richards cannot represent herself pro-se and continue to represent the interests of the Ludwig estate.

The Alhambra native's attorneys have all withdrawn in the case to date.

Attorneys from the firm of Goldenberg, Heller, Antognoli, & Rowland withdrew in June 2010.

Her remaining attorneys including Brian Bendick withdrew last year as well.

In Bendick's motion to withdraw, the attorney contended that his client believed he and her other lawyers were "paid off" by the defendants.

Mudge's Feb. 4 order also continued the suit's Valentine's Day trial.

That trial will be reset if Mudge allows the case to go on following Feb. 18's arguments.

Diane Robben and Jonathan Ries represent Southwestern Illinois Heath Facilities Inc., Anderson's owners.

Ransom Wuller represents Striegel.

The case is Madison case number 07-L-992.

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Anderson Hospital
6800 State Route 162
Maryville, IL 62062

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