The former employer of a doctor found dead in the home of a Missouri firefighter whose previous fiancee killed herself in his house had sought to subpoena him in a federal lawsuit, court filings reveal.
A memorandum filed in a lawsuit and counterclaim between Dr. Sarah Sweeney and the Best Foot Forward podiatry clinic also claimed that she had described her boyfriend as “abusive.” It was filed in September, just months before police opened an investigation into her “sudden death.”
Sweeney, a 39-year-old podiatrist originally from West Virginia, was suing the St. Louis clinic that she’d worked for after moving to Missouri and before she founded her own practice, alleging harassment and discrimination and that her employer allegedly failed to compensate her for her work.
Her unexpected death on Jan. 13, which remains under investigation, has drawn renewed attention to the 2020 suicide of Grace Holland, 35. Both women died in the homes of a local fire captain, Robert Daus.
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Attorneys for her former employer were trying to subpoena Daus in the case, arguing that communications between the two could be “directly relevant” if they pertained to her physical or mental health.
“During Sweeney’s employment with BFF, she was in a relationship with a person upon whom BFF and Harry have been attempting to serve with a subpoena, Rob Daubs (sic), who was according to Sweeney abusive and was suspected of murdering a previous girlfriend,” Mark Murphy, an attorney representing the defendants, wrote.
Daus has actually not been named a suspect in Holland’s death, which was not considered a murder.
It was ruled a suicide by the county medical examiner and two separate police investigations, but her family is suing him alleging wrongful death, and has accused him of abusing her as well.
Read the filing:
Murphy was seeking text messages between Sweeney and a former colleague that might relate to her physical and mental health, especially in conversations that mentioned Daus.
He had also filed for a subpoena seeking “all electronically stored communications between [Daus] and plaintiff Sarah Sweeney.”
Sweeney claimed in the lawsuit that the clinic denied her health benefits and caused her to incur medical debt and business loans when she left to found her own practice. As recently as Dec. 21, she told the court her personal assets consisted of just $212 and was in palliative care due to the lack of health insurance.
“I moved to St. Louis, Missouri from Texas in order to work for defendants. Due to the financial exigencies caused by that employment – by not being paid consistently or fully and by not having health insurance – I have alternately been homeless and moved several times since I arrived,” she told the court. “I am currently living with my boyfriend. Most of my belongings are in boxes.”
Both the clinic and its owner filed a counterclaim, accusing her of breaching her employment agreement, violating a no-compete clause and libel, among other things.
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Daus’ attorney has not responded to numerous requests for comment.
Dr. Sweeney’s family told Fox News Digital earlier this week that she stopped communicating with her mother and stepfather after they sent her news stories about Holland’s death.
Holland’s family has claimed that the firefighter, a captain in the Maryland Heights Fire District, controlled her finances and that they suspected domestic violence in the months before her death.
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Creve Coeur’s chief of police, Jeffrey Hartman, stood by his department’s investigation into Holland’s death Wednesday and said county police had reviewed the case and come to the same conclusion – suicide.
He has also cautioned against speculation in Sweeney’s case as her autopsy and toxicology results are not yet available.
Source: Fox News