Family of stabbing victim seek $300,000 plus in trial against physician

David Yates May 26, 2010, 6:54am

Hours after Thorne Lemon was stabbed in the back, he died while under the treatment of Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital and Dr. Leroy Foster Jr. in March of 2007.

Two years later, Lemon's daughter, Deliiala, filed suit against the hospital and Dr. Foster, alleging her father died from a "lack of proper treatment," rather than a fatal knife wound.

On Monday, May 24, the trial of Deliiala Lemon et al vs. Dr. Leroy Foster began in Judge Milton Shuffield's 136th District Court.

Deliiala Lemon and four of her relatives are plaintiffs in the case, originally filing their suit on Feb, 19, 2009.

As the Southeast Texas Record reported last July, Christus St. Elizabeth was granted summary judgment and dismissed from the suit since the plaintiffs were unable to present an adequate expert report to back up the their claims of negligence.

On Wednesday Deliiala Lemon testified that although she was not present when Lemon was stabbed or when he died several hours later, "to my knowledge Dr. Foster did not do proper treatment for my father."

Deliiala Lemon did not say how exactly Dr. Foster was negligent, only that from what she had "heard and seen" Lemon was in a lot of pain and not treated properly in his final moments.

She went on to say that she is suffering from mental anguish and asked jurors to award her more than $300,000 in damages for her loss.

The lawsuit alleges Dr. Foster failed to recognize Lemon's symptoms, failed to inform him of his true physical state, failed to disclose the risks of the stab wound and failed to engage in acceptable practices to limit the likelihood of infection.

The plaintiffs also allege Dr. Foster was negligent for failing to consult a specialist.

Deliiala Lemon and her family are represented by the Law Office of Joseph Onwuteaka in Houston.

Dr. Foster is represented in part by attorney Jeffrey Uzick.

Case No. D183-317

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