Madison - St. Clair Record

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Med mal/wrongful death trial continues in Matoesian's court

By Christina Stueve Hodges | Apr 11, 2013

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A jury in Madison County Circuit Judge Andreas Matoesian’s courtroom on Thursday heard testimony from a New Jersey orthopedic doctor testifying on behalf of the plaintiff in a medical malpractice case.

The suit was originally filed in 2006 by James Greco, who claims anticoagulant therapy was not provided to his wife Tamara Kay Greco, a mother of three. At age 36, she died one week after visiting Dr. Bruce Vest at Orthopedic & Sports Medicine on April 30, 2004, the suit claims. She sought care from Vest after twisting her left ankle and foot at a bowling alley.

According to her death certificate, she had suffered a bilateral pulmonary thromboemboli, due to immobility of her left foot.

Greco voluntarily dismissed the case in February 2010, and refiled it a year later.

Dr. Steven Berkowitz testified that Greco had complained of tingling in her toes on April 29. He also said that employees at Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Clinic on April 30 failed to take Greco’s foot out of her boot.

According to Greco’s attorney David Horan of St. Louis, burning can potentially be caused by deep vein thrombosis.

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

Arguments in the case began Tuesday. The plaintiff was expected to finish its side Thursday afternoon, and closing arguments are expected Monday afternoon or Tuesday morning.

Another plaintiff witness who has testified includes Karen Tabak, professor of economics at Maryville University in St. Louis. Tabak provides forensic economic research for litigation.

Tabak said that the value of Tamara Kay Greco’s salary as a legal secretary if she had lived to work until her retirement would have been $697,013. Her annual salary was $26,425.

Vest testified as his own expert witness as he was being questioned by Horan on Tuesday. Vest admitted Greco had a severely sprained ankle with tingling toes, and a boot was put on too tightly.

Vest also testified that Greco was on birth control pills, was five feet four and weighed 230 pounds.

According to defense attorney Philip Wilman, Greco had blood clots in her lungs.

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

Greco’s attorneys 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.”

Gregory Fenlon of St. Louis also represents the plaintiff.

Don Weber of St. Louis also represents the defense.

Madison County case number 11-L-140.

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Maryville University