Madison - St. Clair Record

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Retired Madison County judge turned plaintiff attorney withdraws as counsel; Mendelsohn was pursuing med mal complaint before recall to bench

By The Madison County Record | Aug 5, 2015

Ralph Mendelsohn withdrew from a client’s medical malpractice suit in order to return to his former station as associate judge of the Third Circuit.

The suit, alleging negligence against Alton Memorial Hospital, Alton Women’s Health Center, and physician Saji Jacob, rolls on without him in federal court.

Roy Dripps and Michael Blotevogel, of Armbruster, Dripps, Winterscheidt, and Blotevogel in Alton, now represent plaintiff Kyna Mitchell.

Mendelsohn filed her suit on Feb. 20, in Madison County circuit court.

He identified her as a resident and citizen of Illinois and the natural mother of Daunyauh Mitchell.

Mendelsohn wrote that Alton Memorial admitted Mitchell for induction of labor on Feb. 20, 2007, and Jacob tried to perform a vacuum assisted delivery.

He wrote that multiple maneuvers failed to deliver the posterior shoulder.

“The vacuum cup was then released and it was noted that the posterior shoulder has some weaknesses suggestive of Erb’s palsy,” he wrote.

He wrote that nothing in Mitchell’s prenatal care or labor would account for the nerve injuries and broken clavicle her daughter sustained.

He wrote that Jacob negligently failed to perform a Cesarean section.

The suit seeks damages for pain and suffering, for loss of income and earning capacity, and for future surgery, treatment, and therapy.

In June, after circuit judges denied retention to five associate judges, they picked Mendelsohn to fill a position pending five new appointments.

Dripps entered an appearance for Mitchell on June 26, in Mendelsohn’s place.

On July 28, U. S. Attorney Stephen Wigginton removed the suit to federal court in East St. Louis.

He identified Jacob and the women’s health center as “deemed employees” of the United States, eligible for coverage under the Federal Tort Claims Act.

He certified that they acted within the scope of their employment.

On July 29, Wigginton moved to dismiss Jacob and the women’s health center, and to substitute the United States as defendant.

District Judge Nancy Rosenstengel presides over the suit.

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