New Missourian Logo

The family of a former Northwest student is suing for wrongful death against Maryville SSM St. Francis Regional Health Services.

Lonnae Young, 21, died Feb. 16 at Maryville SSM St. Francis Regional Health Services. Young was a residential assistant in Dieterich Hall, but she was on duty at Franken Hall, when she experienced minor swelling from what Young believed was an allergic reaction.

Dejanae Thomas, a residential assistant in Dieterich Hall at the time, said Moira Auxier covered Young’s shift so she could drive herself to SSM Feb. 15.

Senior Jacob Wheeler, a friend of Young’s, said he thought Young would go to the hospital and would be back soon.

“She had allergies and had gone to the hospital before,” Wheeler said. “I figured she would go and get her normal shot, and she would be back. (The hospital) would give her the normal shot that they had always given her, and she would be back in an hour or so.”

Wheeler said Young called him from the hospital and it seemed like everything would be fine.

“It sounded normal for the situation,” Wheeler said. “There wasn’t anything in her tone of voice that raised red flags that something was going to go wrong.”

John T. Symonds is the doctor who allegedly treated Young during her Feb. 15 visit to SSM. Young died the next morning.

Junior Samuel Grigsby said the Franken Hall director, Nicole Canning, met with all the residential assistants to inform them about Young’s death.

“We had knocks on our doors,” Grigsby said. “The hall director gathered us all together and told us the morning of.”

Young’s family is being represented by attorney Steven Garner, who is based out of Springfield, Missouri, and specializes in wrongful death suits. SSM and Symonds are without legal representation in the matter.

Garner said the family sought his help because they were worried about their daughter’s death.

“They were very concerned about what happened to their daughter,” Garner said. “They wouldn’t want what happened to their daughter to happen to anyone else’s daughter.”

Garner said the family wanted to make sure that justice is served and this incident doesn’t happen again.

“They sought out legal counseling for the same reason anyone else in this same situation probably would,” Garner said. “They are concerned and would like to prevent this from happening in the future.”

Once SSM went under new ownership with Mosaic Medical Center, which was effective April 1, all medical records were transferred to SSM Health in St. Louis. Symonds is still employed with Mosaic.

Young’s family declined to comment on legal proceedings. Symonds and SSM did not respond to a request for comment in time for publication.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.