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12/29/87 William Kenner, v. Northern Illinois Medical

December 29, 1987

WILLIAM KENNER, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT

v.

NORTHERN ILLINOIS MEDICAL CENTER, FORMERLY MCHENRY HOSPITAL, ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, SECOND DISTRICT

517 N.E.2d 1137, 164 Ill. App. 3d 366, 115 Ill. Dec. 451

Appeal from the Circuit Court of McHenry County; the Hon. Henry L. Cowlin, Judge, presiding. 1987.IL.1928

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE DUNN delivered the opinion of the court. WOODWARD and UNVERZAGT, JJ., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE DUNN

Plaintiff, Dr. William Kenner, appeals from a trial court order entering summary judgment in favor of defendants, McHenry County Hospital (now known as Northern Illinois Medical Center, hereinafter NIMC), Dr. E. F. Wilt, and Dr. Gregory Eckstein, on counts II through V, VII through X, and XII through XV of plaintiff's fourth amended complaint. Counts I, VI, XI, and XVI were voluntarily nonsuited by plaintiff. On appeal,

The following facts are not in dispute. On March 21, 1984, plaintiff, an 86-year-old retired physician, entered NIMC for treatment of a fractured ankle. When plaintiff was admitted to the hospital, plaintiff's wife, Mrs. Dolores Kenner, a licensed practical nurse, signed a form on his behalf entitled "Authorization and consent upon admission to hospital" that stated in pertinent part:

"I understand that my admission to this hospital is indicated because of my condition. I voluntarily authorize and consent to the customary examinations, tests, and procedures performed on hospital patients in my condition and to routine medical treatment ordered by my physician(s)."

Dr. Wilt was plaintiff's attending physician.

On the day plaintiff was admitted, surgery was performed by Dr. Elstrom. Prior to surgery, Mrs. Kenner, again on behalf of plaintiff, signed a form entitled "Authorization for surgeon to operate and Administration of Anesthetic." This form provided in relevant part:

"I, William Kenner, . . . authorize Dr. Elstrom (and whomever he may designate as assistant(s)) to administer such treatment . . . as is necessary, and to perform the following operation: . . . and such additional operations or procedures as are considered therapeutically necessary on the basis of finding during the course of said operation."

On March 25, Nurse Rink, believing that plaintiff might injure his recently repaired fracture, attempted to contact Dr. Wilt regarding plaintiff's repeated attempts to get out of bed. Rink called Dr. Wilt's answering service at approximately 10 p.m. and was advised that Dr. Eckstein was covering for Dr. Wilt that evening. Rink called Dr. Eckstein and advised him of the situation. Dr. Eckstein, who had no prior contact with plaintiff, ordered Valium every four hours as needed and the use of soft restraints on one arm and one leg as necessary. Valium was subsequently administered by another nurse. On April 2, 1984, plaintiff checked out of NIMC against the advice of his physicians.

In count II of his fourth amended complaint, plaintiff seeks actual damages from NIMC for false imprisonment. In pertinent part, plaintiff alleges that NIMC, through its agents and employees, intentionally injected Valium into plaintiff without his consent causing plaintiff to lose control of the use and free movement of his body; NIMC knew the Valium was administered to deprive plaintiff of control of his body and was not intended for medical treatment; and the failure of the agents and employees of NIMC to consult with the doctors authorized to treat plaintiff subjected plaintiff to an unreasonable use of force. Plaintiff requests actual damages in excess of $15,000 for the grave personal damages, humiliation and mental anguish he suffered as a consequence of NIMC's intentional acts restraining his freedom of movement. In count III, plaintiff prays for punitive damages alleging that NIMC's conduct

In count VII, plaintiff seeks actual damages from Dr. Wilt for false imprisonment. Plaintiff alleges in relevant part that Dr. Wilt permitted Dr. Eckstein, who did not have the consent or authority to render medical treatment to plaintiff, to interfere with plaintiff's treatment; Dr. Eckstein ordered Valium not as medical treatment but to render plaintiff unconscious and deprive him of control of his body, and also ordered leg and wrist restraints on plaintiff; and Dr. Wilt, through his agents the hospital personnel, intentionally administered Valium to plaintiff and physically restrained plaintiff to his bed without consent and against his will. Plaintiff requests actual damages in excess of $15,000 for the grave personal damages, humiliation and mental anguish he suffered as a consequence of Dr. Wilt's intentional acts restraining his freedom of movement. In count VIII, plaintiff alleges Dr. Wilt's conduct as ...


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