Ferguson lawyer rushed to area hospital after spill

Susan Van Dusen, left, seen with Kwame Kilpatrick, center, and Bobby Ferguson at the federal courthouse in August. (Steve Perez / The Detroit News)

A federal judge adjourned the Kwame Kilpatrick corruption trial two hours early Monday after a defense lawyer was rushed to the hospital.

Bobby Ferguson’s defense lawyer Susan Van Dusen fell and hurt her nose, U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds told jurors.

The Miami lawyer, who once defended New York City mob boss John Gotti, fell during a 10:30 a.m. break. She is the second Ferguson lawyer to be hospitalized during the trial.

Ferguson’s lead defense lawyer Gerald Evelyn suffered an undisclosed medical condition in late October, prompting a two-week delay.

On Monday, Evelyn said Van Dusen tripped over a carpeted mat just outside the courtroom and fell face first into the marble floor.

“As far as we know, shes OK,” defense attorney Mike Rataj said.

The judge apologized to jurors for “being “snakebit with this trial.”

“Ms. Van Dusen had a fall during the break, she’s likely OK but had to go to the hospital,” the judge told jurors before excusing them around 11:10 a.m. “She hit her nose and wasn’t able to continue…

“We anticipate she will be fine but we want to be cautious and make sure she is OK.”

If Van Dusen cannot continue Tuesday, another defense lawyer will continue cross-examining a Detroit businesswoman about dealing with Ferguson.

“We’re all sorry she hurt herself and hope she will be OK,” the judge said.

Robert Snell
Robert Snell is the Detroit News federal courts reporter. He can be reached at rsnell@detnews.com or (313) 222-2028.