Defendants in skull fracture lawsuit demand jury trial, seek substitution of judge

The defendants in a case alleging an 18-year-old woman died after her brain grew through her fractured skull have demanded a trial by jury.

Dr. Todd Vonderheide and Rural Family Medicine Associates on Aug. 14 demanded a trial by jury and requested a substitution of judge, claiming St. Clair County Circuit Judge Robert LeChien “has not ruled on any substantial issue subsequent to these defendants’ appearance in this case.”

Sandra Hall, mother of the deceased woman, filed the complaint July 3 against Vonderheide, Rural Family Medicine Associates, Sparta Community Hospital, Red Bud Family Medicine, Dr. Elvira Salarda, Dr. Daniel Barr and Dr. J.M. Dugan.

Hall claims her daughter, Chelsea Weekley, died after a fracture in her skull expanded, allowing her brain to grow through the crack and attach to her scalp. Weekley, according to the complaint, had sustained the fractured skull as a baby in 1993 when she fell on her head onto a concrete floor at Wal-Mart.

Barr treated Weekley for the injury at Sparta Community Hospital, allegedly diagnosing her with a concussion and bruising. Salarda was Weekley’s childhood physician, who had provided her treatment at the time she sustained the skull fracture.

The suit claims the remaining defendants also treated Weekley and failed to diagnose her with a skull fracture that was expanding throughout her youth.

Hall seeks a judgment of more than $250,000.

Belleville attorney Rhonda D. Fiss represents Hall.

James E. Neville of Neville, Richards, & Wuller LLC in Belleville represents Vonderheide and Rural Family Medicine Associates.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 13-L-345

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