Wrongful death trial set April 8 in Matoesian's court; Plaintiffs had sought media restrictions in case

By Christina Stueve Hodges | Mar 28, 2013


A wrongful death case against an Alton doctor over the death of a 36-year-old woman in 2004, is set for trial April 8 in Madison County Circuit Judge Andreas Matoesian's court.

The case involves Tamara Kay Greco, a mother of three who died one week after visiting Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Clinic on April 30, 2004. She was seen at the clinic by Dr. Bruce Vest after twisting her left ankle and foot. The suit was brought by her surviving husband, James Greco, who claims Vest failed to provide anticoagulant therapy.

According to the complaint, Tamara Greco suffered a bilateral pulmonary thromboemboli which, according to her death certificate, was due to, or as a consequence of, immobility of her left foot.

James Greco claims that Vest also failed to warn about the risk of developing deep vein thrombosis, and failed to consult with a specialist in vascular surgery or disease and/or radiologic expertise.

In addition, James Greco claims his wife told Vest that she was taking birth control pills and was 5-feet, four-inches tall and weighed 230 pounds. Her left ankle also had two prior fractures and a sprain.

The case, originally filed in 2006, was voluntarily dismissed in February 2010, and refiled a year later.

Last May, Matoesian denied the plaintiff’s request to prohibit media contact in the case.

Greco’s attorneys, Burton Newman and David W. Horan, had sought the restriction claiming that media stories had been written “in a manner that is favorable to the defendants and negative to the plaintiffs.”

Matoesian did not elaborate in his order denying the request for media restrictions.

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.”

Matoesian also denied that request.

“The published stories risk polluting the potential jury pool in Madison County and prevent the plaintiffs from obtaining a fair trial of this matter,” Greco’s attorneys wrote. “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.

Vest and Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Clinic have denied negligence.

Attorney Don Weber represents Vest and Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Clinic.

Jennifer Betz of Moser & Marsalek also represents the defense.

Madison County Case number 11-L-140.

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