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updated: 7/21/2013 4:35 PM

Lawsuit against Aurora hospital hits a snag

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Lawsuits often drag on for years before a resolution is reached.

Such is the case for a negligence lawsuit filed by a then 78-year-old woman who was attacked by a mentally ill man armed with a butter knife at an Aurora hospital.

The lawsuit filed by Naomi Leeth Johnson in spring 2011 was dismissed last week after her attorney withdrew because of health problems, according to Kane County court records. But Judge F. Keith Brown dismissed the suit "without prejudice," meaning it can be refiled in the future.

Court records show that because Johnson has Alzheimer's disease and dementia her granddaughter, Tamika Maddox, has been named the administrator of her estate.

The suit claims Presence Mercy Medical Center did not do enough to ensure Johnson's safety while she was receiving dialysis treatment Aug. 31, 2010.

Her assailant, Darrell Franklin, 42, formerly of the 600 block of South River Street, Aurora, was found not guilty by reason of insanity and will be treated at a secure mental health facility until March 2036.

During a stipulated bench trial last year, prosecutors said they had enough evidence to prove Franklin was the attacker but defense attorneys also argued they could prove Franklin's actions were a result of mental illness.

Franklin will be 65 when he is released. He originally was charged with attempted murder and faced up to 30 years in prison.

Striving for another goal: CASA Kane County, which provides Court Appointed Special Advocates for abused and neglected children, has never been shy about setting goals.

Last year, the group nearly hit the $1.5 million mark in order to establish a $1 million endowment fund.

The latest goal has been dubbed Operation Facebook and the organization is trying to get 5,000 "likes" on its Facebook page by Dec. 31. The aim is nearly a ninefold increase in "likes" for the page, which had nearly 600 likes as of last week. CASA officials are urging supporters to spread the word.

Cops give 'Olympic effort:' Aurora police officers and Kane County Sheriff's deputies helped raise $3,300 for Illinois Special Olympics recently when they volunteered to wait tables at the Aurora Buffalo Wild Wings.

Officers, deputies and support personnel from both agencies worked with restaurant servers and donated tips to the Special Olympics.

Buffalo Wild Wings also donated 10 percent of food sales from the day.

Last year, Aurora police raised more than $19,000 for the cause.

They have tried a variety of events to raise money, including a Polar Plunge, motorcycle rides and last weekend also were accepting spare change from motorists at Eola and Indian Trails roads.

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