Wrongful Death Trial Gets Underway in Florida

Wrongful Death Trial Gets Underway in FloridaOn Tuesday, August 16, jury selection began in a Naples, Florida case that alleged a surgeon and a doctor's assistant caused the death of Anne Olesky, who was a revered civic leader before dying soon after a 2004 operation on her heart, the Macro Eagle reports.

According to the news source, 70 jurors have been whittled down to a panel of just 31, and the selection will continue until six jurors and two alternatives are selected for the trial, which could last up to three weeks.

The complaint was filed by Olesky's husband, Edward Olesky, 69, alleging that the doctor and the physician's assistant present during the surgery were negligent. The malpractice lawsuit went into the Collier Circuit Court in August, 2005, more than a year after his wife's death at NCH Naples Downtown Hospital on June 13, 2004, the media outlet stated.

The lawsuit alleges that Dr. Dennis Stapleton, a cardiothoracic surgeon, and Joseph Deily, an assistant at the hospital, were performing an aortic and mitral valve replacement surgery and were negligent in doing so, causing Olesky's death, although the hospital was not listed as a defendant in the case.

Olesky was 61 when she died, and was known throughout the community for her role in Christmas Around the World, a children's environmental program. She was also a key player in a grassroots movement that sought to allocate millions of dollars to restore Lake Trafford after a "devastating" fish kill in 1996. The Lake was later renamed Anne Olesky Park by county commissioners, the news provider stated.

Juror prospects were heavily screen on Monday, August 15, and questioned as to whether they knew anyone or any party involved in the trial, including the doctor, the assistant or any of the attorneys present in the case.

According to the Eagle, Olesky's attorney has argued that Anne Olesky died because of blood that had leaked into the wall of the aorta and the surrounding sac, which led to her heart being squeezed abnormally tight, while the defense holds fast that her death occurred because of a perforated coronary artery, which could not have been detected nor treated.

According to the Texas Heart Institute, heart valve repair is necessary after severe valve damage has been done, and usually is a successful operation, with complications rarely arising.