Matoesian denies plaintiff's request to prohibit media contact

Christina Stueve May 4, 2012, 7:00am



Madison County Circuit Judge Andreas Matoesian on Friday denied plaintiff James Greco's request to prohibit media contact in a wrongful death lawsuit against an Alton doctor.

Attorneys Burton Newman and David W. Horan sought the restriction because stories about the lawsuit appeared in local print and internet media, according to Greco's motion filed April 11.

Matoesian did not elaborate in his order.

The plaintiff's attorneys also requested Matoesian to order both parties in the case not to cooperate with the media or "act in a manner to instigate media coverage."

The case involves the death of Tamara Kay Greco, a 36-year-old mother of three, who died a week after visiting Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Clinic on April 30, 2004. She came to the clinic after twisting her left ankle and foot, her suit states. The lawsuit was filed by James J. Greco, the administrator of Greco's estate.

"Said stories have been written in a manner that is favorable to the defendants and negative to the plaintiffs," the attorneys wrote.

"The published stories risk polluting the potential jury pool in Madison County and prevent the plaintiffs from obtaining a fair trial of this matter. The merits of this case should be determined as prescribed by law-by a jury-unsullied by biased (and orchestrated) media reports."

"This lawsuit involves no issues of enhanced public concern," they wrote.

"To protect the plaintiff's right to a fair trial, it is necessary for a Court order to prohibit the parties, their counsel and representatives from contacting or cooperating with the media or otherwise instigating media coverage with respect to this litigation," the motion said.

The plaintiffs also requested a judge's order compelling the supplemental deposition of defendant Dr. Bruce Vest on April 11.

Matoesian also denied that request Friday.

According to the suit, Greco was diagnosed with a sprained left ankle and received an equalizer brace and was told to let Dr. Bruce Vest know if she had more problems. She was given no anticoagulant therapy when she was discharged April 30, 2004, the suit says.

On May 5, 2004, Greco returned to the clinic with pain in her left ankle and foot, and pain and burning with numbness to her toes.
She was examined by Vest and diagnosed as having a "severe" sprain of her left foot and ankle, the suit says.

She was given samples of Bextra and a refill of Vicodin. No evaluation of her vascular status or anticoagulant therapy was provided, the suit claims.

On May 7, 2004, she suffered bilateral pulmonary thromboemboli from immobility of her left foot, according to her death certificate.

Matoesian also ordered discovery to be completed by Sept. 25.

Philip Willman and Jennifer A. Betz of Moser & Marsalek represent Vest and Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Clinic.

Madison County Case number 11-L-140.

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