Wrongful Death Suit By Moore Family Heard In Sangamon Court on Monday

By Benjamin Cox on November 9, 2023 at 10:47am

LifeStar Ambulance Service, Springfield Memorial Hospital, Peggy Finley, and Peter Cadigan were all parties to a wrongful death lawsuit heard in Sangamon County court on Monday for the death of Earl Moore, Jr.

Moore died last year due to positional asphyxia, according to a ruling by Sangamon County Coroner Jim Allmon, as a result of allegedly being strapped face down on a gurney by LifeStar EMT’s Peggy Finley and Peter Cadigan. Moore was later pronounced deceased at Springfield Memorial Hospital.

(Photos of Peggy Finley and Peter Cadigan provided by the Sangamon County Jail)

Finley and Cadigan currently face first-degree murder charges in criminal court for Moore’s death.

According to court records, Sangamon County Chief Judge John Madonia presided over a 1-hour Zoom hearing on Monday in the wrongful death lawsuit filed by Moore’s family against the EMTs, the hospital, and LifeStar Ambulance Service. According to WICS Newschannel 20, attorneys for LifeStar argued there is not enough evidence that the company and the paramedic’s behavior was ‘willful and wanton’ in Moore’s death and found the claims to be “inappropriate.”

Judge Madonia disagreed saying that EMTs would have requisite knowledge to know that their actions could cause great bodily harm or a potential for loss of life, and that the ambulance company should be required to know that they have that knowledge as a part of their licensing.

Attorneys for Springfield Memorial Hospital argued that they should be dismissed as party to the suit because of their involvement as a resource hospital makes it a potential liability, and also that they have no authority or direct affiliation with LifeStar or its EMTs.

Madonia ruled to dismiss Springfield Memorial Hospital as party to the suit with prejudice. LifeStar’s motion to dismiss was denied.

The suit is due to return to Sangamon County Court on December 15th on any remaining motions prior to a potential civil trial.

Cadigan and Finley will be back in the courtroom for their criminal charges on November 27th.