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Tentative trial date set in case of man wrongly declared dead at DeGraff

Jury selection has been tentatively scheduled for June 2 for a State Supreme Court trial in a lawsuit filed over the death of an Amherst man, who was incorrectly declared dead by an emergency room doctor in North Tonawanda's DeGraff Memorial Hospital.

However, Charles F. Burkwit, attorney for the man's widow, said Wednesday that he has asked the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court to allow him to reargue its ruling last month that disallowed a punitive damage claim against Kaleida Health, the hospital owner, and Dr. Gregory C. Perry. If that motion is granted, the trial may be delayed.

Michael E. Cleveland, 46, of Amherst, suffered a heart attack in a Tops Market in the City of Tonawanda Oct. 10, 2014.

Perry pronounced him dead, but his wife, Tammy Cleveland, and Niagara County Coroner Joseph V. Mantione saw Michael Cleveland moving and breathing. Perry allegedly was slow to change his ruling. Then the victim was transferred to Buffalo General Medical Center, where he died the next morning.

 

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