Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Myron
Gomberg, Judge, presiding.
JUSTICE O'CONNOR DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:
This is an appeal by plaintiff, Franklin Young, from an order of the circuit court of Cook County granting summary judgment for defendant, Dr. Charles Pease.
Plaintiff was injured during a work-related accident on July 12, 1972. He was directed by his employer's workers compensation insurance carrier to defendant for treatment for his injuries. Plaintiff was under defendant's care from November 17, 1972, to January 30, 1973.
On December 8, 1978, plaintiff filed this action against defendant and various other parties no longer involved in this litigation. In his complaint, plaintiff alleged discovery of defendant's malpractice on January 24, 1977. This discovery was alleged to have been made by the attorney for plaintiff in another matter. Defendant filed his answer on April 24, 1979, and included an affirmative defense based on the failure to commence the action within the applicable statute of limitations.
On May 11, 1981, defendant filed a motion for summary judgment under section 57 of the Civil Practice Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1977, ch. 110, par. 57), now codified as section 2-1005 of the Code of Civil Procedure (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1981, ch. 110, par. 2-1005). The motion was based on the statute of limitations for medical malpractice actions (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1977, ch. 83, par. 22.1) and plaintiff's discovery deposition taken on June 25, 1980. Defendant argued that the latest date plaintiff could have filed a lawsuit was four years from the last date of treatment, or January 30, 1977. Defendant also argued that plaintiff admitted in his deposition that the date of discovery was in 1973, and that, therefore, the action should have been filed by the end of 1975. The relevant portion of plaintiff's deposition was attached to the motion and reveals the following colloquy between plaintiff and defendant's attorney:
"Q. When was the first time that anyone informed you that the treatment by Dr. Pease was improper?
Q. Do you remember when that was?
Q. You know approximately when that was?
A. About seven years ago, a little over seven years.
Q. Who told you his treatment was improper?
Q. And where did that conversation ...