Publications

Articles on Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice insurance rules and rate filings reinstated

March
2015
Illinois Law Update
Page 20
On December 19, 2014, the Department of Insurance amended the Part titled Medical Liability Insurance Rules and Rate Filings to comply with a 2010 Illinois Supreme Court ruling. 50 Ill. Adm. Code 929 (eff. Dec. 19, 2014).

Increased oversight for medical therapy and imaging services

August
2014
Illinois Law Update
Page 372
New quality assurance and oversight standards for computed tomography ("CT"), radiation therapy, electronic brachytherapy, and digital imaging went into effect on May 29, 2014. 32 Ill. Adm. Code 360.

Blaming the Patient: Medical Malpractice and Contributory Negligence

By Robert P. Vogt
June
2014
Article
Page 288
What constitutes contributory negligence in the med-mal context? This article explains the basics.

The Good Samaritan Act does not immunize physicians providing services on a compensated basis, regardless of whether the patient is billed

June
2014
Illinois Law Update
Page 272
On March 20, 2014, the Illinois Supreme Court, as a matter of first impression, held that the term "fee" in the Good Samaritan Act includes a doctor's hourly compensation, including instances where the doctor is paid but the patient is not directly billed for the services provided.

Good Samaritan Act doesn’t shield on-duty emergency doctors

By Janan Hanna
May
2014
LawPulse
Page 214
A lawyer who was disciplined for posting a YouTube video of police buying drugs from his client has filed a federal lawsuit challenging his suspension.

Preserving the Peer Review Privilege in Med-Mal Cases

By Margaret J. Lowery
April
2014
Article
Page 176
Properly performed peer review is not subject to discovery in med-mal litigation. But health care providers sometimes learn the hard way how the privilege can be lost.

Supreme court: IPI instruction misstates med-mal standard of care

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
September
2011
LawPulse
Page 434
An Illinois Pattern Jury Instruction doesn't state the correct standard for determining whether a physician's conduct was reasonable in a med-mal case, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled.

Supreme court: med-mal statute of repose limits implied indemnity claims

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
March
2011
LawPulse
Page 118

Judicial Versus Legislative Authority after Lebron

By Professor Jeffrey A. Parness
June
2010
Column
Page 324
The med-mal caps ruling continues the age-old battle over separation of powers.

Illinois Supreme Court: statutory med-mal caps are unconstitutional

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
March
2010
LawPulse
Page 122
By overriding juries' findings and judicial oversight over them, the caps law violated the separation of powers, the court ruled.

Proving Proximate Cause in Malpractice Cases

By Terrence J. Lavin and Kristina M. Lau
May
2009
Article
Page 254
Illinois courts are still struggling to determine the plaintiff's proper burden of proving proximate cause in "lost chance" cases.

A dismissal granting leave to amend is not a final adjudication

February
2009
Illinois Law Update
Page 70
 On December 2, 2008, the Illinois Appellate Court, Second District, reversed and remanded the judgment of the Circuit Court of Lake County granting the defendants' motions to dismiss and dismissing the plaintiff's medical malpractice complaint.

Supremes: the Best approach to tort reform survives

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
August
2008
LawPulse
Page 384
 The supreme court holds that a med-mal plaintiff is entitled to a 90-day extension to file her certificate of merit - and that a 2004 law didn't reenact the version of 2-622 invalidated in Best v Taylor.

No in personam jurisdiction over Indiana clinic

March
2008
Illinois Law Update
Page 124
On December 28, 2007, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, reversed the holding of the Circuit Court of Cook County denying the defendant's motion to dismiss for lack of in personam jurisdiction.

Time between voluntary dismissal and refiling does not affect reasonable diligence assessment

February
2008
Illinois Law Update
Page 72
On December 13, 2007, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the appellate court and the Circuit Court of Knox County, holding the passage of time between a plaintiff's voluntary dismissal and refiling is not included in considering the plaintiff's diligence under Supreme Court Rule 103(b). 

Strong public policy to disclose patient names to newspaper cannot override privacy

June
2007
Illinois Law Update
Page 292
On April 9, 2007, the Illinois Appellate Court, Fifth District, affirmed the Circuit Court of Washington County's denial of the intervener's request that the court unseal the names of certain medical patients contained in a previous court order. 

Extra fees for extra effort - a win in the appellate court

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
February
2007
LawPulse
Page 66
The appellate court reversed the trial court's rejection of a plaintiff's firm's argument that its extraordinary effort justified fees that exceeded the statutory med-mal limit.

Lawsuit challenges med-mal caps

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
January
2007
LawPulse
Page 8
The suit, filed in Cook County, argues that the statute violates the separation of powers, is impermissible special legislation, and suffers from other constitutional infirmities.

Expanding the Use of Medical Treatises in Illinois Trials

By Terrence J. Lavin and Michelle L. Wolf
August
2006
Article
Page 426
The authors argue that following the federal approach would produce a better-informed jury.

When the doctor is the patient - and a med-mal defendant

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
August
2006
LawPulse
Page 398
Should a defendant-doctor's medical records be available to a plaintiff who alleges that the doctor's poor health caused him to deliver substandard care?

Medical Malpractice and the Tort System in Illinois

By Neil Vidmar
July
2005
Article
Page 340
According to an ISBA-commissioned report, the increase in doctors' liability insurance premiums apparently has not been caused by runaway juries.

Getting the Most from Medical Witness Treaters and Experts: A Trial Lawyer’s Guide

By Terrence J. Lavin
May
2005
Article
Page 246
How to find and use physicians and other medical witnesses.

Hospital and HMO Liability for Contract Physician Malpractice: An Update

By Robert J. Napleton
February
2005
Article
Page 88
This article offers a trial lawyers' perspective on how the apparent agency doctrine has evolved since Gilbert v Sycamore Municipal Hospital

Challenging the Medical Studies Act’s Peer-Review Privilege

By Judy L. Cates
November
2004
Article
Page 582
A plaintiff's-eye view of this important limit on discovery in med-mal cases.

Expert’s affidavit establishes prima facie case of medical malpractice

November
2004
Illinois Law Update
Page 568
On August 17, 2004, the Illinois Appellate Court, Fourth District, affirmed in part and reversed in part the decision of the Circuit Court of Sangamon County that granted the defendant's motion for summary judgment in a medical malpractice action. 

Can cities cap med-mal damage awards?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
September
2004
LawPulse
Page 450
Does home rule authority really empower cities to regulate medical malpractice litigation? Not likely, observers say.

Malpractice Wars Redux: The Same Old Song

By Terrence J. Lavin
April
2004
Column
Page 168
The temporary custodian of the office of ISBA president never exactly knows what issues and challenges will surface during his/her year at the helm. 

Return of the Petrillo doctrine for hospital defendants

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
November
2003
LawPulse
Page 544
Beginning next year, a new law will once again ban ex parte conversations between a hospital's lawyers and a plaintiff's treating physicians.

Hospitals potentially liable even if doctor takes the blame

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
September
2003
LawPulse
Page 430
The supreme court recently affirmed a med-mal plaintiff's right to proceed against a hospital even where the physician falls on his sword.

Plaintiff asserting private right of action for personal injury under Nursing Home Care Act does not have to attach certificate and report under section 2-622 of Code of Civil Procedure

May
2003
Illinois Law Update
Page 226
On February 21, 2003, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the appellate court that a plaintiff asserting a private right of action under the Nursing Home Care Act, 210 ILCS 45/1-101.

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