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Jury verdict supports Appleton family in medical negligence suit

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region Willmar, 56201
West Central Tribune
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Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

MORRIS -- A seven-person jury in Stevens County on Thursday issued a unanimous verdict of medical negligence against Dr. Allan Ross, his Northside Medical Clinic of Ortonville and the Ortonville Hospital.

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The jurors found 70 percent of the fault on Ross and 30 percent on hospital nurses. It followed three weeks of testimony in the case, according to a news release from attorney Brian Wojtalewicz, of the Wojtalewicz Law Firm, Appleton, and attorney Terry Wade, of Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi of Minneapolis.

The attorneys represented Dan and Lori Perseke of Appleton. They filed the lawsuit on behalf of their 6-year old son, Wyatt.

According to the release, the jury accepted the expert testimony of six medical doctors called to testify by the attorneys for the Perseke family, that negligence by the doctor and nurses during and immediately after labor and the birth of Wyatt at the Ortonville Hospital on May 9-10, 2002, caused cerebral palsy, with permanent brain damage and severe, lifelong disability.

The defense attorneys called an equal number of expert doctors who opined that no negligence causing Wyatt's injury was committed. The Persekes, Dr. Ross and the nurses also testified.

The case was tried last summer in Ortonville, the location of the doctor and hospital, but resulted in a hung jury. Judge Gerald Seibel then granted the plaintiffs' request for a change of venue for the second trial.

The great majority of the recovery will be placed in a court-approved trust for Wyatt's future expenses, with a small portion paid to the Persekesfor Wyatt's medical expenses from the time of his birth until he turns 18. The verdict totaled $9,566,500. Only a portion of that will actually be paid because of pretrial agreements. The doctor, clinic and hospital have adequate insurance coverage.

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