Medical expert testimony heard at trial involving City of Alton

Christina Stueve Nov. 10, 2011, 12:48am



A medical expert's videotaped deposition was shown to Madison County jurors Wednesday in a trial involving a near-fatal car accident in Alton in 2003.

Matthew Adelsbach, 37, is seeking damages from the City of Alton and John Calvin Riddlespriger, the other driver involved in the accident which left him comatose for 31 days.

Riddlespriger had left the scene of the accident, according to testimony.

Adelsbach claims the city should have had a four-way stop at the intersection of East 20th Street and Alby Street, instead of just a two-way stop.

Dr. Ghada Ahmed testified that Adelsbach was admitted to the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago on April 9, 2003 for a brain injury and other injuries he sustained after his vehicle was struck from the left side. He was discharged from inpatient therapy on May 24, 2003.

As part of the recovery process, the hospital had a team with a variety of specialties, including physical and speech therapists, who were involved with Adelsbach.

"We are re-teaching the brain what it was doing before" the injury, Ahmed said.

Adelsbach suffered from weakness in his eye muscles. His arms and legs were also weakened from the crash, the doctor said.

"The treatment at RIC, was it medically reasonable for his recovery?" asked Larry Amoni, Adelsbach's attorney.

"Yes," said Dr. Ahmed.

"Would Matt know he's not himself, so to speak?"

"They do not recognize there is something wrong with them, with the recovery after what's happened to them," Ahmed said.

"Some patients cannot deal with this frustration. All of that can lead to depression. He was not safe to perform tasks by himself. He was not allowed to drive. All of these things can lead to depression."

Defense attorney Charles Pierce told jurors on Tuesday during opening arguments that every story has two sides.

Adelsbach had a stop sign to cross, and he was likely on his cell phone because he was a traveling salesman from out of town, Pierce said.

"He pulled into the intersection and looked to his right and never looked to his left," he said. "He was primarily responsible for this accident."

Circuit Judge Andreas Matoesian is presiding.

The case is Madison County Case 04-L-252.

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