Madison - St. Clair Record

Sunday, August 25, 2019

American Medical Response, Abbott Ambulance seek to dismiss wrongful death suit following go-cart crash

By Heather Isringhausen Gvillo | Aug 30, 2017

American Medical Response and Abbott Ambulance argue that a woman failed to include a healthcare affidavit in her wrongful death suit over her husband’s death following a go-cart crash two years ago.

The 36-count lawsuit was filed by Flora Odum, the surviving spouse of Thomas Odum, in May against Gateway Kartplex, Abbott Ambulance, Hertz Cops., Gateway Acquisitions, American Medical Response of Illinois, Gateway Motorsports, Gateway International Motorsports Corp. and Gateway Motorsports Corp. She also filed the suit on behalf of daughter Erin Kuehnel.

According to the suit, Thomas Odum was participating in a racing event for clients of Hertz and their employees at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison on May 21, 2015, when his go-cart was allegedly thrown off track. The suit claims the go-cart went past barriers and through a chain link fence, and ultimately hit a concrete structure.

Flora Odum alleges the defendants failed to have first responders available to provide rescue services to her husband. She also claims that when an ambulance did arrive, it did not have the proper medical equipment and training to help him.

As a result, she alleges the decedent’s family members watched him suffer for approximately 25 minutes following the wreck before “proper” emergency services arrived on scene.

Flora Odum further alleges the decedent received extensive and on-going medical care to treat his injuries and later died as a result of the incident.

The lawsuit alleges riders were not adequately trained as to safety procedures, the go-cart issued to the decedent was not equipped with a seat belt and was not safe for operating at high speeds.

Flora Odum also claims the defendants “continued the racing that day” despite the wreck.

A Madison County coroner’s inquiry verdict states that the decedent died on May 25, 2015, as a result of heart failure, or specifically arteriosclerotic and hypertensive cardiovascular disease.

American Medical Response and Abbott Ambulance filed a motion to dismiss counts XIII-XX on Aug. 21 through attorneys Kim Luther and Andrew Luther of Luther & Associates in St. Louis.

“Because the allegations against Defendants AMR and Abbott involve allegations relating to these defendants failure to provided (sic) decedent with adequate healthcare services, Plaintiffs were required to file a healthcare affidavit with their original Complaint,” the motion states.

After Gateway Motorsports filed a motion for a substitution of judge, the case was assigned to Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder on Aug. 23.

The plaintiff is represented by J. Brad Wilmoth of Page Law in Kirkwood, Mo.

Madison County Circuit Court case number 17-L-632

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Madison County Circuit Court Page Law