Judge dismisses Macomb County and health care provider’s claims in jail death trial – Macomb Daily

Macomb County attorneys and the prison medical provider have lost most of their pre-trial lawsuits in the trial over the 2014 death of a Roseville man as the case progresses towards a probable trial.

Macomb County filed five petitions and Correct Care Solutions, now known as Well Path, filed seven petitions in the U.S. District of Detroit in the lawsuit filed by the estate of David Stojcevski, who died July 27, 2014 , as a result of drug withdrawal 17 days after entry. prison for a minor offense.

On September 27, Justice Linda Parker dismissed 12 of the motions and granted two in part.

“We feel really good about it, we are really happy,” said Harold Perakis, lawyer for Dafinka Stojcevski, the mother of David who represents his estate. “Now we are on the right track to adjudicate the case. “

Macomb County Corporation attorney John Schapka agreed the case would “likely” be tried. It has been slowed down by a multitude of legal maneuvers as well as issues related to COVID-19.

The trial date has not yet been set, but is expected to be scheduled for next year.

In addition to the county and the SCC, the accused include seven correctional officers and five medical professionals who worked for the SCC.

The case garnered significant media attention, with strong denials of wrongdoing by County Director Mark Hackel and an FBI investigation.

Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel, accompanied by County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham, left, defends the County Sheriff’s Office in 2015 at a press conference in response to allegations by David’s family and lawyers Stojcevski, who died in prison in 2014.MACOMB DAILY FILE PHOTO

The plaintiffs argue that the defendants were “deliberately indifferent” to the rights of the Eighth and 14th Amendment of Stojcevski, who entered Mount Clemens Prison on June 11, 2014 due to $ 772 in accumulated fines for a reckless driving ticket .

He died 17 days later at McLaren Macomb Hospital in Mount Clemens less than 90 minutes after the intervention of prison staff. During those days, he was seen fighting with a cellmate, lying naked on the cell floor and under the bed, losing a meal to a cellmate and frequently shaking.

He lost about 44 pounds, from 195 to 151, while behind bars, the plaintiffs say.

According to an autopsy, the cause of death was withdrawal from several drugs and “dehydration with hypernatremia and convulsive / convulsive activity”.

Stojcevski’s family said he was taking a prescribed opioid and another medication due to pain from a motorcycle accident.

One of the CCS defendants in this case is Dr. Lawrence Sherman of Shelby Township, who was indicted by federal authorities last June on allegations that he was one of six people operating a drug network on illegal order of 6.6 million dollars.

Sherman’s “character” was one of the pieces of evidence CCS sought to have removed from the complainant’s case, although his indictment was not mentioned. CCS refers to a 1994 investigation by the New York State Board of Professional Conduct that resulted in a restriction on Lawrence’s license to practice and a “2002 reprimand by the same body for failure to provide a treatment and care of a patient from the emergency room at Kenmore Mercy Hospital, ”the legal record reads.

Parker denied the petition but said the request was premature, lacked specifics and could be raised during trial.

“The Court also cannot decide whether the incidents of 1994 and 2002 are relevant without knowing the details of those incidents and therefore whether they demonstrate – as the plaintiff claims – Dr. Sherman’s knowledge that David was in danger of being harmed. serious if it was not treated differently or Dr. Sherman’s motive and intention not to treat it, ”Parker wrote.

Macomb County JailMACOMB DAILY FILE PHOTO

Macomb County attorneys were denied in their claim that plaintiffs could not cite other prison-related lawsuits, including one brought by Stojcevski’s brother Vladimir, who was in prison at the same time as his brother. and sued the county.

Parker indicated that the complainant agrees that Vladimir’s case should not be mentioned at trial, but that what can be included is his interaction with prison correctional officers linked to his brother, as this may be relevant.

The fact that Vladimir “interacted with a prison officer who commented on David’s condition may be relevant and is not unfairly prejudicial,” Parker said. “The same is true of a nickname Vladimir knew that officers used to refer to David as it might reflect their knowledge of behavior relevant to his condition.”

In other Macomb County petitions, Parker said at trial that the plaintiff can present:

  • Evidence of Sheriff’s Office “Internal Policies / Procedures” on Alleged Lack of Training and Supervision,
  • Expert testimony from Margo Frasier, a “criminal justice and consultant”, although she could not testify on the “legal conclusions”,
  • Proof of the weight of Stojevski and
  • Expert testimony from Debra Graham, dietitian and nutritionist, ”which is expected to discuss Stojevski’s weight loss.

In decisions dismissing the SCC’s motions, Parker said it would allow:

  • Dr Robert Greifinger’s limited expert testimony on healthcare policy and quality management.
  • Unjustified death damages in addition to “survival” damages.
  • Evidence in staff files, although the judge said she would have to rule on a case-by-case basis during the trial as issues arise.
  • David Stojecvski’s prison surveillance video for a “medical diagnosis / opinion” during the trial. Parker noted that County Assistant Medical Examiner Dr Mary Pietrangelo “relied in part on David’s appearance in the video recordings, including his display of ‘seizure-like activity’, when he concluded that he was suffering from acute withdrawal from chronic drugs containing benzodiazepines, methadone and opiates.
  • The reference to investigations into the case by the FBI, the Sheriff’s Office and the Macomb County Office of Professional Standards, which the defense claims are hearsay. While Parker admitted that many sections may be ineligible, she added, “Reports are not completely excluded and the decision of whether a part should be excluded can only be made once the content is presented. and that their use is explained. “

Parker granted motions by Macomb County to prevent the jury from learning that witnesses Anthony Wickersham of the County Sheriff, former prison administrator Michelle Sanborn and CCS director of mental health Natalie Pacitto, who could testify , were once defendants in the case, and to limit punitive damages to defendants.


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