Judge denies Macomb County, medical provider’s requests in jail-death lawsuit – Macomb Daily

Attorneys for Macomb County and the jail’s medical provider lost most of their pretrial legal motions in the lawsuit over the 2014 death of a Roseville man as the case is headed toward a likely trial.

Macomb County filed five motions and Correct Care Solutions, now known was Well Path, filed seven motions in U.S. District in Detroit in the lawsuit filed by the estate of David Stojcevski, who died July 27, 2014, from drug withdrawal 17 days after he entered the jail for a minor offense.

Judge Linda Parker on Sept. 27 denied 12 of the motions and granted two in part.

“We feel real good about that, we’re real happy,” said Harold Perakis, attorney for Dafinka Stojcevski, David’s mother who represents his estate. “Now we’re on a clear path to trying the case.”

Macomb County Corporation Counsel John Schapka agreed the case will “likely” go to trial. It has been slowed by a bevy of legal manuevers as well as COVID-19-related matters.

A trial date has not been set but is expected to be scheduled for some time next year.

In addition to the county and CCS, defendants include seven corrections officers and five medical professionals who worked for CCS.

The case drew a great deal of media attention, strong denials of wrongdoing by County Executive Mark Hackel and an FBI investigation.

Macomb County Exectuive Mark Hackel, accompanied by county Sheriff’s Anthony Wickersham, left, in 2015 defends the county Sheriff’s Office at a news conference in response to allegations by the family and attorneys for David Stojcevski, who died at the jail in 2014.MACOMB DAILY FILE PHOTO

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

He died 17 days later at McLaren Macomb hospital in Mount Clemens less than 90 minutes after jail personnel responded. Over 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 twitching frequently.

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

The cause of death was withdrawal from multiple drugs and “dehydration with hypernatremia and seizure/seizure like activity,” according to an autopsy.

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

One of the CCS defendants in the case is Dr. Lawrence Sherman of Shelby Township, who was indicted by federal authorities last June on allegations he was among six people who operated a $6.6 million illegal prescription drug ring.

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

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

“The Court also cannot rule on whether the 1994 and 2002 incidents are relevant without knowing the details concerning those incidents and therefore whether they demonstrate — as Plaintiff’s argue — Dr. Sherman’s knowledge that David was at risk of a serious harm if not treated differently or Dr. Sherman’s motive and intent in failing to treat him,” Parker wrote.


Attorneys for Macomb County were denied in their motion that the plaintiffs cannot mention other jail-related lawsuits, most notably one filed by Stojcevski’s brother, Vladimir, who was in the jail at the same time as his brother and sued the county.

Parker indicated the plaintiff agrees Vladimir’s case should not be mentioned at the trial but what can be included is his interaction with jail corrections officers related to his brother because it could be relevant.

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

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

  • Evidence of the Sheriff’s Office “internal policies/procedures” on the claim of lack of training and supervision,
  • Expert testimony of Margo Frasier, a “criminal justice and consultant,” although she cannot testify as to “legal conclusions,”
  • Evidence of Stojevski’s weight and
  • Expert testimony by Debra Graham, a dietician and nutritionist,’ who is expected to discuss Stojevski’s weight loss.

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