receive a reply.
Based on comments made in Superior Court Tuesday, the answer is likely
to be no.
Vangi Edmundson, the attorney for Glendale Adventist, told Superior
Court Judge Charles W. Stoll Monday that the hospital will not be paying
for Saldivar's defense. She declined to comment afterward.
Four lawsuits are known to have been filed against Saldivar and others
may be pending, Goldberg said. A former respiratory therapist at the
hospital, Saldivar confessed, and later recanted, to killing up to 50
terminally ill patients. He has yet to be charged with a crime as the
police investigation continues.
Goldberg, who has been working for free on the first lawsuit filed
against Saldivar in March 1999, said he won't be able to handle the
multitude of cases without being paid. He argues Glendale Adventist is
required to do so under the state's labor code.
"It is unrealistic to expect we can continue to provide free legal
service in multiple cases," Goldberg said. "Our firm gives back a lot to
the community, but why should the hospital get the benefit of my legal
Saldivar has been unable to find a steady job and can't afford a
defense, Goldberg said.
Goldberg's comments Monday came as Glendale Superior Court Judge
Charles W. Stoll suggested that consolidating the lawsuits against
Saldivar and the hospital was a good idea because they will probably
contain a number of common issues.
Stoll said he will talk this week with Burbank Superior Court Judge
Carl West about how to proceed. He made his comments during a status
hearing on a lawsuit filed by the wife of Elio Palacios, 29, who died in
Palacios, a leukemia patient, was one of 20 people whose bodies were
exhumed by Glendale Police in the investigation of Saldivar.
Any move to combine the cases will probably be opposed by Goldberg.
He said putting cases already filed together with those yet to be filed
could taint his client's defense.
"I know it would cut down on the judicial resources and save the court
time, but it would be so prejudicial and interfere with the fair
distribution of justice," Goldberg said.
Having all the cases in one court will make rulings consistent, said
Peter Salomone, the Palacios family attorney. West will decide in October
whether police must release details of their investigation before it is