Case management conference set in wrongful death suit

By Amelia Flood | Sep 29, 2009

A case management conference is set for 9 a.m. on Sept. 30 in a wrongful death suit against a Madison doctor and the practice employing him.

At issue is whether Dr. Michael Rallo had the skills and knowledge to diagnose the plaintiff's deceased husband when he had been sued over the same thing twice before.

Jennifer Westerhold is suing Rallo and Family Medicine Associate P.C. as the special administrator of her husband, Eric Westerhold's estate.

Madison County Circuit Judge Andy Matoesian is presiding.

Eric Westerhold died in July 2004 after seeking care from Rallo in April and May of that year. Westerhold complained of chest and arm pain, shortness of breath and dizziness, according to his wife's second amended complaint.

The suit claims that Rallo negligently failed to perform EKG and stress tests on two occasions.

Jennifer Westerhold further contends that Rallo did not have the necessary knowledge and skill to diagnose and treat cardic infarctions and that Family Medicine Associates is guilty of wrongful death and negligent entrustment.

She cites two lawsuits against Rallo -- Hettenhaus vs. Rallo and Hill vs. Rallo -- that she claims centered on the same issues.

She argues that Rallo's skills were cast into doubt by the suits and the fact that the Hill suit was settled for "one million dollars."

She is suing for damages of at least $50,000 per count and costs.

Two other defendants in the suit, Legatus Emergency Services Inc. and Dr. Christopher Cruz settled previously.

Westerhold is represented by Gerald Montroy.

Rallo and Family Medicine Associates are represented by Robert Wuller.

The case is Madison case number 05-L-521.

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