Lopinot schedules deposition of guardian in alleged rape case

Christina Stueve Apr. 12, 2012, 11:54am




St. Clair County Associate Circuit Judge Vincent Lopinot has scheduled an evidence deposition of a plaintiff's mother in a case against St. Elizabeth's Hospital over the alleged rape of a patient.

Lopinot wrote in an April 4 order that St. Elizabeth's is permitted to notify the court of any objection by means of a motion to quash.

He wrote that an objection could include the inability of the hospital to obtain the plaintiff's medical records and obtain the discovery deposition of the plaintiff's mother before May 8, the date he set for the evidence deposition.

St. Elizabeth's Hospital was ordered on March 7 to produce the hospital's visitor's log to the plaintiff. The visitor's log pertains to visitors who sought and received the opportunity to visit patients on the hospital's behavioral health floor.

The patient's guardian filed suit against the hospital and an unknown person identified as "Criminal Joe" on July 23. The guardian claims he brought the mentally disabled person to St. Elizabeth's in June 2009 for behavior problems.

The complaint alleges St. Elizabeth's placed the man into a room in the psychiatric ward with a rapist and failed to supervise them, the suit states.

"St. Elizabeth's Hospital allowed John Doe to be repeatedly sodomized and raped by Criminal Joe while another patient watched," the complaint says.

The hospital investigated the incident, according to spokeswoman, Kelly Barbeau, who said the hospital was committed to a safe environment.

The alleged repeated incidents of rape caused John Doe to sustain severe injuries, mental anguish, bodily pain and incur medical costs, according to the complaint.

The guardian alleges negligence, failure to protect and negligent infliction of emotional distress against St. Elizabeth's and negligence against the rapist.

The guardian seeks a judgment of more than $200,000, plus costs.

Chris Kolker of Kolker Law Offices in Belleville represents the plaintiffs.

Michael J. Nester and Chi-Yong Throckmartin of Donovan, Rose, Nester & Joley represent the hospital.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-381.

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