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04/26/88 Alex E. Beacham, Jr., v. Marlene Alma Palmer

April 26, 1988

ALEX E. BEACHAM, JR., PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT

v.

MARLENE ALMA PALMER, ADM'R OF THE ESTATE OF COURTENAY PALMER, DECEASED, DEFENDANT-APPELLEE (RUBSON BUESER



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, SECOND DIVISION

et al., Defendants)

523 N.E.2d 1007, 169 Ill. App. 3d 637, 120 Ill. Dec. 96 1988.IL.599

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Thomas Hoffman, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE SCARIANO delivered the opinion of the court. STAMOS and BILANDIC, JJ., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE SCARIANO

Plaintiff appeals the dismissal of her medical malpractice action against the estate of Courtenay Palmer, M.D. We affirm the trial court's ruling that the statute of limitations had run as against the estate.

This case arises from medical treatment plaintiff received in May 1981. On May 6, 1983, plaintiff filed his suit against various physicians, including the late Dr. Palmer, who had died in Florida on March 17, 1983. Plaintiff's attorney learned of the doctor's death that same month, and on April 29, 1983, letters of administration were issued in Florida to Dr. Palmer's widow, Marlene Palmer. Plaintiff was unaware of Mrs. Palmer's appointment, and without giving notice to Edward Zerbe, he requested and received a circuit court of Cook County order appointing Zerbe as special administrator of Dr. Palmer's estate. Zerbe was served with plaintiff's complaint on May 22, 1983.

Zerbe filed a special appearance and motion to quash service, based on his belief that he had never been appointed special administrator, and on August 23, 1983, the trial court granted his motion. Plaintiff's motion to vacate that order was denied on June 21, 1984, at which time the court found that the appointment of Zerbe as special administrator of Dr. Palmer's estate was void as a matter of law.

On February 5, 1985, plaintiff filed his amended complaint naming Adriana Luna as special administrator of Dr. Palmer's estate. Luna's motion to dismiss, alleging that plaintiff's amended complaint was barred by the applicable statute of limitations (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 110, par. 13-212), was granted by a second Judge on April 10, 1986. (A transcript of that hearing is not included in the record on appeal.)

Plaintiff filed his fourth amended complaint, naming Marlene Palmer as administrator of her late husband's estate, on July 23, 1986, and she was served on October 21, 1986. On June 18, 1987, the trial court granted her motion to dismiss, holding:

"The action is time-barred as against the Estate of Courtenay Palmer regardless of whom the administrator is, and that will be the order; and I'm granting the involuntary dismissal based on my findings that . . .

The action is time-barred as against the Estate of Courtenay Palmer regardless of whom the administrator may be. That will be the ...


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