Matoesian orders parties in wrongful death suit to identify and depose witnesses

By Christina Stueve | Mar 1, 2012



Madison County Circuit Judge Andreas Matoesian on Wednesday set deadlines for both parties to identify and interview witnesses in a wrongful death lawsuit against an Alton doctor and his clinic.

The case involves 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 left ankle had two prior fractures and a sprain. She was on birth control and was five feet four and weighed 230 pounds at the time of her visit.

According to Matoesian's order, the plaintiff's witnesses are to be disclosed by May 15 and deposed by June 30.

The defendant's witnesses are to be disclosed by July 30 and deposed by Sept. 15.

The suit claims that Greco's X-rays were negative for a fracture or dislocation. She was diagnosed with a sprained left ankle. She received an equalizer brace and was told to let Dr. Bruce Vest know if she had more difficulties. At the time of her discharge on April 30, 2004, she was given no anticoagulant therapy.

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. 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, Tamara Greco suffered bilateral pulmonary thromboemboli from immobility of her left foot, according to her death certificate.

Plaintiff's witness, Dr. Steven Berkowitz of Ocean, N.J., wrote in a certificate that he thought Orthopedic & Sports Medicine deviated from the standard of medical care provided to Greco.

Plaintiff James Greco, the administrator of Greco's estate, claims he suffered funeral expenses, loss of services, companionship, comfort, instruction, guidance, counsel, training and support of Greco

Vest has countered that the damages and injury sustained by Greco were her own fault.

Matoesian also ordered all discovery to be completed by Sept. 25. He set a trial date of Oct. 9, and said the deadlines may be changed by agreement of the parties or by a court order.

Philip Willman of Moser & Marsalek represents Vest and Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Clinic.

David Horan of Horan Law in St. Louis represents the plaintiff.

Burt Newman of Burt Newman is the plaintiff's co-counsel.

Horan also has a medical degree. He was one of four plaintiff attorneys in the case of Price vs. Philip Morris, which resulted in the infamous $10.1 billion Madison County judgment rendered against the tobacco company in 2003.

Madison County Case number 11-L-140.

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