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Santiago v. Silva

OPINION FILED NOVEMBER 13, 1980.

ISABEL PACHECO SANTIAGO, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,

v.

ALBERTO SILVA, M.D., DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. CALVIN C. CAMPBELL, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE JOHNSON DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Plaintiff, Isabel Pacheco Santiago, brought this action against defendant, Dr. Alberto Silva, seeking to establish the paternity of her son. The case was heard by a jury which returned a verdict finding defendant the father of plaintiff's child. Judgment was entered on the verdict, and defendant was ordered to pay child support, certain expenses connected with childbirth, and plaintiff's attorney's fees.

Defendant appeals from the order of the trial court. He argues the trial court should have entered a judgment in his favor notwithstanding the verdict, and that errors were committed by the trial court which mandate a new trial.

We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Plaintiff first met defendant in 1973 while her mother was one of his patients. He is a medical doctor, certified in obstetrics and gynecology and licensed by the State of Illinois. He first saw plaintiff professionally in March 1974.

Plaintiff was still married to Angelo Santiago and living with him in Chicago in 1973. They had no children. In September 1973, the Santiagos separated. They had sexual relations once thereafter in April 1974. Mr. Santiago moved to Champaign, Illinois, in the summer of 1974. A judgment for divorce was obtained by the couple in March 1975.

According to plaintiff, she first dated defendant in September 1974. She alleged to have had intercourse with him on several occasions from that date until February 1975. She stated she had visited defendant's home in Lincolnwood and on each of those occasions had sexual relations with him. She was able to describe the interior of defendant's home in detail.

Adriana Pala, plaintiff's sister, testified she lived in the same apartment building as plaintiff in February 1975. She, like her sister, was a patient of defendant. Pala knew defendant drove a yellow Cadillac and on one occasion she saw her sister get out of a yellow Cadillac in front of the apartment building.

Plaintiff testified she saw defendant at his office in January 1975 because she did not feel well. He confirmed she had a kidney infection, and, in testing her urine, determined that she was pregnant. Plaintiff stated defendant suggested she have an abortion but she strongly refused for religious reasons. His insistence on an abortion forced her to obtain the services of another gynecologist for her prenatal care. She came under the care of Dr. Linus.

In September 1975, plaintiff gave birth to twins in Mexico where her family lived. One of the twins died; the survivor she named Alberto. The Spanish language birth certificate of the child was presented but not admitted into evidence. An offer of proof provided that the birth certificate indicated "father unknown."

In October 1977, plaintiff, her former husband, Angelo, and her son went to the Mount Sinai Blood Bank Center and had their blood tested. Dr. Chang Ling Lee, director of the Center, testified that, based upon the blood tests, Angelo Santiago was excluded from paternity of the child.

Elvira Hohl, a co-worker of plaintiff, testified that a male identifying himself as Dr. Silva telephoned at work several times asking for plaintiff, and she was aware plaintiff was dating defendant. Another co-worker, Fidel Ingeles, testified to seeing plaintiff enter a yellow Cadillac with a man who was small-framed. Ingeles could not identify the man as the defendant.

In his testimony, defendant acknowledged he was a general physician and gynecologist. He had examined and treated plaintiff and her mother several times, in a professional capacity, at his office and at the hospital. He denied ever seeing plaintiff socially and denied ever engaging in sexual relations with her.

Defendant testified that from December 17 to 27, 1974, he was in Mexico. When he returned to Chicago, he brought his mother and sister with him and they remained as his guests until mid-January 1975. ...


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