Court Roundup

New Jersey

Family sues drug co., hospital over man's poisoning

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Relatives of a New Jersey man who authorities say was fatally poisoned by his estranged wife are suing the woman's employer and the hospital that treated him.

The family alleges in their civil wrongful-death complaint that Xiaoye (zow-yay) Wang's death could have been avoided if Bristol-Myers Squibb and the University of Medical Center at Princeton hadn't acted negligently.

Prosecutors say his estranged wife, Tianle Li (tee-ahn-lay lee), obtained thallium from her job as a chemist at the pharmaceutical company. Authorities say Li slipped the highly toxic metal into her husband's food between mid-November and Jan. 26, when he died at the hospital.

She has pleaded not guilty to murder and hindering apprehension charges.

The company and the hospital aren't commenting on the lawsuit.

Pennsylvania

Cardinal, 88, called to court

in abuse case

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- The 88-year-old former archbishop of Philadelphia has been summoned to court to see if he should be deposed in a criminal priest-abuse case.

City prosecutors want to preserve Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua's testimony before the March 26 trial because he suffers from cancer and dementia. Bevilacqua is a potential trial witness.

Monsignor William Lynn, the secretary for clergy under Bevilacqua, is charged with child endangerment and conspiracy for allegedly transferring predator priests. He is the first U.S. church official charged in the priest-abuse scandal. Three priests and a former teacher are charged with rape.

Lawyers for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia say Bevilacqua is too ill to testify.

A judge asked for his medical records and ordered Bevilacqua to appear in court on Sept. 12 for a competency hearing.

Maryland

Life sentence sought in yoga shop killing

ROCKVILLE, Md. (AP) -- Prosecutors in Montgomery County plan to seek a sentence of life without parole if a woman charged with killing a co-worker at an upscale yoga clothing shop is convicted of first-degree murder.

Brittany Norwood is awaiting trial in the March death of Jayna Murray at the Lululemon Athletica shop in Bethesda. Authorities say Norwood killed Murray, and then tried to cover up the crime by telling officers that the women had been attacked inside the store by two masked men.

State's Attorney John McCarthy advised Norwood's attorney, Douglas Wood, of his office's intention in a letter this week.

Norwood's trial is scheduled for October 24 in Montgomery County Circuit Court.

Colorado

County attorneys want monoxide case dismissed

ASPEN, Colo. (AP) -- Someone might have altered a boiler after Pitkin County officials issued a permit for an Aspen-area home where a Denver family of four died from carbon monoxide poisoning, lawyers for the county argued in a new motion in a civil lawsuit.

According to the Aspen Daily News, the motion in Denver federal court is the latest claim in the lawsuit over the 2008 deaths of Caroline Lofgren, her husband, Parker, and their two children, Owen and Sophie.

The family was staying in the house after winning a church auction for a getaway in Aspen over Thanksgiving weekend. Investigators said a disconnected exhaust pipe leaked the odorless gas into the house.

Relatives filed a lawsuit in August 2010, alleging gross incompetence by companies that worked on the house and Pitkin County building inspectors.

Since then, attorneys for the defendants and for the family have made a series of claims and rebuttals in court motions. A hearing in the case is scheduled for Tuesday in federal court in Denver.

Published: Mon, Aug 8, 2011