Dad wants to widen lawsuit over teen's leukemia death

Calgary Herald, Canada/May 9, 2009

A father who sued the Jehovah's Witnesses church, its lawyers, church members and Alberta Children's Hospital doctors in a wrongful death claim on his daughter's estate, argued in appeal court Friday to have overturned a lower court decision that tossed out the bulk of his lawsuit.

Lawrence Hughes, whose 17-year-old daughter Bethany died from acute myeloid leukemia seven years ago despite 80 blood transfusions against her will, was trying to have two of the church's lawyers, whom he said misrepresented the teen in her medical decision, reinstated in the claim.

A Court of Queen's Bench Justice dismissed claims against the two lawyers last year, but allowed the suit to continue against doctors at the hospital.

Pat Peacock, who represents the church's lawyers, David Gnam and Shane Brady, argued against Hughes' appeal to reinstate the lawyers in his lawsuit.

Allan Ludkiewicz, who represents the doctors and other defendants, similarly argued his clients should have had claims against them dismissed as Hughes had no medical evidence to support his claims.

Alberta Court of Appeal justices Marina Paperny, Clifton O'Brien and Jack Watson reserved their decision.

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