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Walker v. Alton Memorial Hospital Ass'n

OPINION FILED NOVEMBER 26, 1980.

SHIRLEY M. WALKER ET AL., PLAINTIFFS-APPELLEES,

v.

ALTON MEMORIAL HOSPITAL ASSOCIATION, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Madison County; the Hon. HAROLD L. CLARK, Judge, presiding.

MR. PRESIDING JUSTICE JONES DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Rehearing denied January 7, 1981.

This is an appeal from an order of the trial court finding the defendant, Alton Memorial Hospital Association, in civil contempt for failure to answer certain interrogatories propounded by the plaintiffs Shirley and Billy Walker. Pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 323 (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 110A, par. 323) the parties have filed a written stipulation stating the facts material to the controversy in lieu of a report of proceedings. According to the stipulation, plaintiffs filed a medical malpractice action against defendant and subsequently served upon defendant a series of interrogatories. To the following interrogatories defendant objected:

"22. State whether or not there were any hearings or meetings relating to the care and/or treatment of plaintiff.

23. If the answer to the previous interrogatory is yes, please state:

(a) The person or organization holding a hearing or meeting;

(b) The name and address of those persons attending said meeting or hearing;

(c) Date and time of said meeting or hearing;

(d) Location of said meeting or hearing;

(e) The nature and purpose of said meeting or hearing;

(f) State the substance of the proceeding of said hearing or meeting;

(g) State the results or conclusion of said hearing or meeting;

(h) Please state whether location and custodian who has the notes or records of said hearing or meeting [sic]."

Defendant objected to answering these two interrogatories because, it contended, disclosure of the requested information would be in violation of sections 1, 2 and 5 of "An Act providing for the confidential character of certain medical studies" (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1977, ch. 51, pars. 101, 102 and 105). Thereafter the trial court ordered defendant to answer interrogatories numbered 22 and 23(a), (b), (c), (d) and (e) fully and to give the information necessary to answer interrogatories numbered 23(f), (g) and (h) to the trial court for in camera inspection. Defendant filed a motion to reconsider the order, which the trial court denied, ordering defendant to comply with its order within 30 days. Upon defendant's failure so to comply, plaintiffs moved that ...


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