Legal malpractice claims seeks $750k in damages

By Ann Knef | Apr 16, 2008

Darlene Green filed a legal malpractice complaint against Granite City attorney John T. Papa alleging he failed to file an injury claim in a circuit court "where she could have have had a jury rule on her claim and would have been able to appeal any adverse decision of the court or jury."

Darlene Green filed a legal malpractice complaint against Granite City attorney John T. Papa alleging he failed to file an injury claim in a circuit court "where she could have have had a jury rule on her claim and would have been able to appeal any adverse decision of the court or jury."

In a suit filed April 14 in St. Clair County Circuit Court, Green claims an Illinois Court of Claims awarded her $17,000 in damages after her car was struck by a dump truck belonging to the Illinois Department of Transportation on April 28, 1998.

Green claims she did not receive adequate compensation for her injuries, consistent with their nature, extent and severity.

The Court of Claims denied Green's petition for rehearing on March 7, 2007.

"Plaintiff had a viable claim for costly medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and disability, and would have been successful in obtaining compensation in an amount much higher than that determined by the Illinois Court of Claims but for defendant's negligent representation of her," the complaint states.

Among other things, Green, frequently known as Darlene Riskovsky, claims Papa failed to bring physician George Schoedinger, M.D. to testify at her hearing.

She also claims Papa "failed to object or otherwise prevent the introduction into evidence of an event in plaintiff's life subsequent to the vehicular collision of April 28, 1998, allowing the State to present irrelevant and unsubstantiated evidence, testimony and argument that led to the Court's decision to disallow any compensation to plaintiff after the date of that subsequent event."

She claims Papa "failed to introduce medical testimony by Plaintiff's treating physicians that the event in plaintiff's life subsequent to the vehicular collision of April 28, 1998, was not the proximate cause of Plaintiff's injuries and damages and that the collision of April 28, 1998 was the proximate cause of those injuries and damages which led to the Court's decision to disallow any compensation to plaintiff after the date of that subsequent event."

Seeking in excess of $750,000 in damages, Green is represented by Patricia A. Zimmer of Ripplinger & Zimmer in Belleville.

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