Rudolf grants dismissal in suit alleging patient died following colonoscopy; Plaintiff given leave to amend complaint

By Heather Isringhausen Gvillo | May 9, 2019

St. Clair County Circuit Judge Heinz Rudolf granted a physician’s motion to dismiss a medical malpractice suit alleging a patient died following a routine colonoscopy.

Rudolf granted the motion on April 16, but gave the plaintiff time to file an amended complaint.

Defendants Aaron Greenspan, MD, and Metro East Gastroenterology Ltd. filed a motion to dismiss the complaint and strike the family expense statute claim on March 15 through attorney Untress Quinn of Sandberg Phoenix & von Gontard PC in O’Fallon.

The defendants argued that count I is listed as a wrongful death claim against Greenspan, but also includes allegations against Greenspan, defendants Hyman Thompson, MD, Metro East Gastroenterology, and Southern Illinois Healthcare Foundation.


“Any attempt to answer plaintiff’s complaint would be futile,” the motion stated. “As a consequence, the complaint should be dismissed and plaintiff made to separate each defendant for each separate cause of action in accordance with Illinois law.”

Further, the daughter of decedent Jacqueline Williams brings an action pursuant to the Family Expense Act.

“Additionally, plaintiff cannot bring an action pursuant to the Family Expense Statute because under this statute, liability for the medical or funeral expenses of another is the basis of the claim,” the motion stated. “The statute only applies to a spouse or parent because they have the obligation to pay for medical and funeral expenses incurred by the child or the other spouse.”

“Plaintiff can only bring an independent action for medical and funeral expenses, not a cause of action under the Family Expense Statute,” it continued.

Rudolf set a case management conference for Aug. 12 at 9 a.m.

Trevett Goodwin, as administrator of the estate of Jacqueline Williams, deceased, filed the complaint on Jan. 29.

According to the complaint, Williams was under the care of the defendants for a routine colonoscopy on Sept. 18, 2017. However, Goodwin alleges the defendants failed to obtain appropriate preoperative clearance, failed to check the decedent’s serum potassium level preoperatively and failed to properly perform the procedure.

As a result, Williams allegedly suffered from lack of oxygen to her brain for a long period of time, causing her death on Oct. 14, 2017.

Thompson answered the complaint on March 20 through attorney Kenneth Burke of Brown & James in Belleville, denying liability.

The plaintiff is represented by attorney Grey Chatham Jr. of Chatham & Baricevic in Belleville.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 19-L-84

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Brown & James Chatham & Baricevic Sandberg Phoenix & Von Gontard PC

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