National Roundup

Woman fights cap on malpractice damages ruling

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A Verona woman is challenging a law that caps malpractice damages against University of Wisconsin doctors at $250,000.
A Wisconsin State Journal report says a jury awarded Terri Fiez $1.8 million in a wrongful-death lawsuit against a UW doctor. But state law limits total damages against UW doctors to $250,000.
For most other doctors, non-economic damages are capped at $750,000, and there’s no cap on economic damages.
Fiez is challenging the UW cap in Dane County court, the first challenge to the 1979 law.
Her attorney, Eric Farnsworth, says the law means a widow who whose husband died at UW Hospital would be significantly worse off in the case of a fatal mistake than if the ambulance had taken him to a different hospital.
A UW Health spokeswoman declined to comment.

New York
2nd body found in river where best man fell off boat

PIERMONT, N.Y. (AP) — A day after a bride-to-be was pulled dead from the Hudson River, the body of her fiance’s best man was found a mile downstream Sunday, the second victim of a nighttime crash involving a speedboat and a barge north of New York City.
The deadly collision left the groom-to-be grieving for his intended and his best friend, while facing surgery for his own injuries as another friend is charged with manslaughter — two weeks before the wedding day.
“I don’t think you can put words to what we have to tell these families,” Rockland County Sheriff Louis Falco said as he announced that a body believed to be that of Mark Lennon, 30, the best man, was found Sunday morning.
Lindsey Stewart, Brian Bond, Lennon and three others were on a speedboat that crashed Friday night into a barge holding equipment for the construction of a replacement for the Tappan Zee.
Police said it was being piloted by Jojo John, 35, of Nyack, whom they suspect was intoxicated and who has been charged with vehicular manslaughter and vehicular assault.

Rick Warren back in the pulpit after his son’s suicide

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Nearly four months after his son’s suicide, popular pastor Rick Warren returned to the pulpit Saturday afternoon at the Southern California megachurch he founded.
Warren, dressed in his usual casual black T-shirt and jeans, took the stage at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif. with wife, Kay Warren, and was greeted with a long standing ovation by the congregation.
It was the first time Warren had taken the Saddleback pulpit since his 27-year-old son Matthew shot and killed himself on April 5.
In the sermon, first in a series called “How To Get Through What You’re Going Through,” Rick Warren said he had the perfect role model for his struggles.
“God knows what it’s like to lose a son,” Warren said.

Waffle House patron shoots would-be robber

UNION CITY, Ga. (AP) — Authorities say a customer at a Waffle House outside Atlanta shot and wounded a suspect who was trying to rob the restaurant.
Police say the shooting happened early Monday, when a gunman tried to hold up a Waffle House in south Fulton County.
Union City police Det. Gloria Hodgson says the suspect entered the Waffle House just before 2 a.m., armed with a pistol and demanding money.
Hodgson tells The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that a customer inside the 24-hour diner shot the suspect. The suspect, whose name hasn’t been released, was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital for treatment. His condition wasn’t immediately available.
Hodgson says there were no other injuries.

Man charged with shooting stepdad over television

PITTSBURGH (AP) — A 19-year-old man has been jailed on charges he fatally shot his stepfather during a dispute over a television at a Pittsburgh residence.
Online court records don’t list an attorney for Aaron Israel, of Carnegie, who was jailed without bond after his arraignment Monday.
Police say Israel’s mother had asked him to change the locks on her home after she and her husband, 45-year-old Kevin Kirkland, had a domestic dispute over the weekend.
Police say Kirkland forced his way into the home about 2:30 a.m. and accused Israel of stealing a TV, which had actually just been moved to another room in the house without Kirkland’s knowledge.
During the dispute, Israel — who is Kirkland’s stepson — began fighting with Kirkland’s birth son. Police say Israel shot the elder Kirkland when he intervened.

New Jersey
Doctor faces sentencing in oxycodone plot 

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey doctor faces sentencing in Trenton for her role in an illegal oxycodone distribution ring.
Jacqueline LoPresti pleaded guilty last October to a count of conspiracy that carries a maximum sentence of 20 years and a fine up to $1 million. The court has also ordered LoPresti to forfeit more than $400,000.
The Fair Haven resident was an osteopath with an office in Little Silver. She was among 22 people charged in 2011 in what federal prosecutors said was a ring that trafficked in and sold millions of dollars’ worth of oxycodone tablets to people across the region.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office has said doctors charged in the alleged scheme illegally wrote more than 6,000 prescriptions for more than 500,000 oxycodone tablets between 2009 and 2010.

Rhode Island
Man due back in court 23 years after sentencing

NORTH KINGSTON, R.I. (AP) — A former Rhode Island man has a new court date, 23 years after he was supposed to report to prison in an arson case.
Seventy-four-year-old Carlton Winsor, who now lives in Tallahassee, Fla. told WJAR-TV he never reported to prison because nobody every notified him that he had lost his appeal before the state Supreme Court.
Court records show Winsor was sentenced to two years at the Adult Correction Institutions and three years of probation for conspiracy to commit arson in a 1985 fire that burned an ambulance barn in North Kingston.
The state Supreme Court upheld the conviction on March 14, 1990.
Officials acknowledge they never summoned Winsor back to court to surrender, until last week. A hearing has been scheduled for Friday.