1.Ritter v. Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center, 177 Ill. App. 3d 313 (1st Dist. 1988)
Patient filed malpractice action against hospital after she fell off a gurney. The case involves only the alleged negligence of non-physician employees. The hospital only contested damages. Hospital interviewed four treating physicians and defense counsel interviewed the treating physicians to prepare for trial.Plaintiff moved for sanctions at the start of trial. The trial court held Rush in contempt and barred Rush from calling five physicians as witnesses. Rush appealed.
Should the court affirm the trial court’s ruling?
Agency principles cannot abrogate the physician-patient privilege;Except malpractice of an employee-physician;Specifically excludes –nonphysician-employee of ahospital
2.Morgan v. County of Cook, 252 Ill. App. 3d 947 (1st Dist. 1993)
Plaintiff patient filed a medical malpractice action against a defendant hospital and doctor. Both doctor and doctor’s supervisor tried to convince plaintiff to consent to surgery. The case involves only the conduct of a physician-employee. Defense counsel for the hospital and the doctor both madeexpartecommunication with the supervisor.Plaintiff filed a motion to bar the hospital and doctor from calling the doctor’s supervisor to testify. The trial court granted the motion on the grounds that defendants engaged in improperexparteconferences with a treating physician in violation ofPetrillo. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiff. Defendants filed a motion for a new trial which was denied.
Should the court affirm the trial court’s ruling?
Physician-patient privilege does not apply when the medial entity wishes to communicate with the allegedly negligent physicianIn cases of vicarious liability for conduct of the treating physician the defendant hospital is included within the physician-patient privilege and the patient has implicitly consented to the release of his medical information to the defendant hospital’s attorneys.
3.Burger v. Lutheran Gen. Hosp., 198 Ill. 2d 21 (2001)
Plaintiff patient filed a medical malpractice suit naming four doctors, the hospital and the hospital’s parent corporation as defendants. Plaintiff filed a motion to barexpartecommunication between the hospital’s counsel and those members of its medical staff, agents, and employees who provided health care to plaintiff but were not named as defendants.
The trial courtbarredanyexpartecommunication between hospital defense counsel or risk managers and any health-care provider of plaintiff for whose conduct plaintiff does not seek to hold the hospital vicariously liable. In addition,it entered a judgment order in favor of plaintiff,findingthat (1) parts of 210 Ill. Comp. Stat. 85/6.17(d), (e), and all of 210 Ill. Comp. Stat. 85/6.17(h) violated the separation of powers doctrine; (2) 210 Ill. Comp. Stat. 85/6.17(d), (e) unreasonably invaded patients' constitutional privacy interests; (3) § 6.17(d), (e) was not impermissible special legislation in violation of Ill. Const. art. IV, § 13; and (4) the invalid parts of the HLA were severable.
How should the court rule on the constitutional challenges?
Subsections (d), (e) and (h) of section 6.17 of the Hospital Licensing Act do not violate the separation of powers clause; and subsections (d) and (e) of section 6.17 do not violate a patient's right to privacyThe provisions of the Act, including subparagraphs (d) and (e) of section 6.17, do not regulate "discovery."Instead, the Act provides standards and regulations intended to safeguard the public's health and welfare.The plain language of section 6.17 establishes that the communications allowed under subsections (d) and (e) are not triggered by litigation.
4.Hall v. Flowers, 343 Ill. App. 3d 462 (4th Dist. 2003)
Plaintiff filed a motion for a protective order to prevent counsel for defendants, a hospital and a radiological technician, from communicatingexpartewith one of plaintiff’s treating physicians, the surgeon. The surgeon performed carpal tunnel surgery on plaintiff and had staff privileges at the hospital. The trial court denied plaintiff’s motion and granted defendants’ motion for summary judgment.
Should the court affirm the summary judgment?
The hospital was entitled to limited communications with the surgeon under an exception to thePetrillodoctrine found in 210 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 85/6.17(b), (d), (e) (2000) of the Illinois Hospital Licensing Act.Where a patient institutes a legal action against a hospital, "the hospital is not a third party with respect to its own medical information, which is compiled by the hospital's own caregivers."Burger, 198 Ill. 2d 21 at 57.Summary judgment was appropriate because the plaintiff would not be able to carry his burden on the issue of causation without expert testimony
5.Szfranskiv.Azaran(In re Med. Malpractice Cases Pending), 337 Ill. App. 3d 1016 (1st Dist. 2003)
Plaintiffs, malpractice claimants in separate suits, filed motions for protective orders to prohibit communications between attorneys and agents of defendant hospitals and plaintiffs non-Morganhealth care providers.The trial court ruled that the hospitals’ counsel and its employees and agents could communicateexpartewith plaintiff’s non-Morganhealth care providers (those whose treatment was not alleged to have caused plaintiffs’ injuries), but risk managers could not.
Should the court uphold the trial court’s ruling?
Under the HLA,after a medical negligence case has been filed against a hospital, the defendant hospital's counsel and those of its employees and agents responsible for peer review, defense of claims, quality assurance, utilization review, and risk management may communicateexpartewith the plaintiffs’ non-Morganhealth care providers who, in the course of their employment or affiliation with the defendant hospital, provided or assisted in providing care or treatment to the plaintiffIf the hospital was able to access the patient’s information prior to litigation because it was hospital information, it remains hospital information after litigation ensues.
6.Aylwardv.Settecase, 409 Ill. App. 3d 831 (1st Dist. 2011)
Plaintiff patient filed suit against defendant doctor and his doctor's employer, co-defendant multi-specialty clinic. The clinic sought permission to communicateexpartewith various members of its staff who were involved in the patient's care but who were not named as defendants in the lawsuit, but whose actions may later become the basis for liability. The trial court prohibited the clinic from engaging in any such contact.
Should the court affirm the trial court’s order?
Theclinic was prohibited from engaging inexpartecommunications with the patient's treating physicians whose actions were not a potential basis for the clinic's liability.While the physician-patient privilege did not bar a the clinic from communicating with the allegedly negligent physician through whom it could be held vicariously liable, the privilege still protected the patient from disclosures by the physician-employees whose conduct was not a basis for the clinic's potential liability.
7.Cozad v. CHW Displays, Inc.,2015 IL App (4th) 140294-U
Defendant’s attorney took depositions from three persons who provided mental-health services to plaintiff. In so doing, defendant’s attorney failed to provide notice to plaintiff’s counsel. At a subsequent jury trial, defendant introduced an expert who had reviewed the defense attorney’sexpartecommunications.The trial court allowed admission of the expert’s testimony with the expert’s assurance that he had not relied upon theexpartecommunications in formulating his own opinions.
Should the court accept the trial court’s admission of the evidence?
Defendant’s attorney failed to comply with Illinois Supreme Court Rule 206(a) requiring written notice in a reasonable time in advance be given to plaintiff’s counsel. Failure to comply with this rule of discovery therefore constituted a violation ofPetrillofor all three communicationsDefendant expert’s opinion regarding plaintiff was “tainted” by theexpartecommunications provided to him defendant’s attorneyBarring the evidence depositions themselves was an insufficient sanctionAllowing him to testify in return for his hollow assurance that he would purge his mind of the depositions the sanctity and confidentiality of the physician-patient relationshipBecause the violations ofPetrillodid not appear to be willful, a new trial (without the expert’s testimony) would be a sufficient sanction