The opinion of the court was delivered by: Mills, District Judge:
We apply here the concept of "depecage".
On April 1, 1982, an explosion occurred at a welding shop in
Cass County, Illinois, resulting in serious injury to three
persons named as Defendants in this lawsuit. Sometime after
the explosion, the insurance carrier for the shop, the
Travelers Indemnity Company of Illinois (Travelers), filed
this statutory interpleader action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1335
Moore (administrator of the estate of Gregory Moore, who was
killed in the explosion), the Washington Hospital Center of
Washington, D.C. (which treated Gregory Moore), and a variety
of other parties.
The action seeks a declaratory judgment as to how the
proceeds of the insurance policy covering the shop, currently
deposited in escrow by Travelers, should be distributed.
Presently before the Court are cross motions for summary
judgment on Counts I and II of Washington Hospital's
cross-claim against Moore, which seeks a declaration that as
a result of services it provided to Gregory Moore, the
hospital has a valid and enforceable lien against (1) the
estate of Gregory Moore, and (2) the proceeds of any wrongful
death claim Moore may have against any negligent party. Also
before the Court are motions for summary judgment filed by
other parties asserting claims to the proceeds of the
insurance policy.*fn1 These parties move for summary judgment
on their cross-claims against Washington Hospital for
declaratory relief to the effect that the hospital has no lien
or claim to those proceeds.
Summary Judgment Standard
Summary judgment is proper only when "there is no genuine
issue as to any material fact and . . . the moving party is
entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c).
In determining whether an issue of material fact exists, the
Court must construe the facts alleged in the light most
favorable to the party opposing the motion for summary
judgment. Adickes v. S.H. Kress & Co., 398 U.S. 144, 157, 90
S.Ct. 1598, 26 L.Ed.2d 142 (1970); Stumph v. Thomas & Skinner,
Inc., 770 F.2d 93, 97 (7th Cir. 1985). Cross motions for
summary judgment require no less careful scrutiny of the
factual allegations. LacCourte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior
Chippewa Indians v. Voigt, 700 F.2d 341, 349 (7th Cir. 1983).
In determining whether such undisputed facts entitle one of the
parties to judgment in their favor, the Court's inquiry
"unavoidably asks whether reasonable jurors could find by a
preponderance of the evidence that the [moving party] is
entitled to a verdict — `whether there is [evidence] upon which
a jury can properly proceed to find a verdict for the party
producing it, upon whom the onus of proof is imposed.'"
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., ___ U.S. ___, ___, 106 S.Ct.
2505, 2511, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986) (quoting Improvement Co. v.
Munson, 14 Wall. 442, 448, 81 U.S. 442, 20 L.Ed. 867 (1872)
(emphasis in original)).
The parties are essentially in agreement as to the facts
that are necessary to resolve the issues presented by the
motions now before the Court. The entry of summary judgment is
therefore appropriate. Before turning to the issues presented
by these motions, a brief review of the facts of this case is
On April 1, 1982, Steve Edwards and Gregory Moore went to
the premises owned by Critic Mills, Inc. (Critic Mills) in
Cass County, Illinois, to do repairs to the facilities. While
Edwards was using an electric welder, the explosion and fire
Gregory Moore and Allen Tomlinson, an employee of Critic
Mills, were present at the place where Steve Edwards was doing
the welding. All three parties suffered burns, with Allen
Tomlinson and Gregory Moore receiving the worst burns. Allen
Tomlinson was treated for his burns at Memorial Hospital in
Springfield, Illinois. Gregory Moore was also initially
treated there but was later transferred to the burn unit of
the Washington Hospital Center in the District of Columbia.
Gregory Moore remained in that hospital until he died on May
27, 1982, as a result of the burns received in the explosion.
On May 30, 1982, Washington Hospital sent a statement for
the treatment of Gregory Moore to 704 Railroad Street,
Beardstown, Illinois, the address contained under patient
identification in the hospital's records and the same address
that Roy Moore wrote on the Washington Hospital's return
envelope as his own address. On June 28, 1982, Roy Moore was
appointed Administrator of the Estate of Gregory Moore,
Deceased, by the Circuit Court of Cass County, Illinois.
Letters of office were issued on that date. In a letter dated
July 6, 1982, William Allison notified the hospital that he
was the attorney for the estate of Gregory Moore and requested
a copy of the itemized hospital charges. On July 12, 1982, the
hospital submitted to William Allison its itemized statement
of hospital charges for treatment provided to Gregory Moore.
Washington Hospital sent additional statements for hospital
charges to Roy Moore. In response, Roy Moore wrote a letter to
the hospital dated September 18, 1982, informing the hospital
that a lawsuit was pending and that all bills for Gregory
Moore were to be sent to the Illinois Department of Public
Aid. There is no written contract between Moore and the
On July 17, 1982, Washington Hospital filed a hospital lien
for medical services rendered to the decedent pursuant to the
District of Columbia Code, §§ 38-301 et seq. (1981)*fn2, in
the amount of $237,081.60 and notice of said lien was served
upon Travelers, Aetna*fn3, Critic Mills, Edwards,
the State of Illinois, Attorney William Allison, and Roy
Moore, prior to the payment of any money to the injured
person, his attorney or his legal representative.
On September 21, 1984, Travelers Indemnity Company of
Illinois (Travelers), the insurance carrier for Steve Edwards,
Robert J. Edwards, and Edwards Welding Shop (Edwards), filed
the underlying interpleader action, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1335,
naming Washington Hospital and the Moores among others
as Defendants. Pursuant to this Court's order of September 25,
1984, Travelers deposited $300,000 in an escrow account as full
satisfaction of its liability under its insurance policy issued
to Edwards and on April 11, 1985, the Court entertained
Travelers' motion for summary judgment. Finding that Travelers
was a disinterested stakeholder faced with conflicting claims
and demands far in excess of the insurance policy limits, this
Court granted Travelers' motion for summary judgment and
ordered the following relief, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2361:
1. That all parties hereto are restrained and
enjoined permanently from instituting or
prosecuting any action against Travelers
Indemnity Company of Illinois or their insureds
for the recovery of any amount therefrom arising
out of the occurrence and policy at issue here;
2. That all parties with potential claims, liens,
or demands are required to make known their
intentions and join this action on or before May
The summary judgment motions now pending ask the Court to
decide essentially two issues: (1) whether Count I of the
hospital's claim against the estate of Gregory Moore is barred
by its alleged failure to comply with Ill.Rev.Stat., ch. 110
1/2, § 18-12, requiring that all claims against the estate be
filed with the administrator or the Court; and (2) whether this
federal court, sitting in Illinois in an interpleader action,
should enforce the hospital's lien (which arises under District
of Columbia law) against the proceeds of an Illinois ...