APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FOURTH DISTRICT
Nos. 4-87-0714, 4-87-0715, 4-87-0716, 4-87-0717, 4-87-0718, 4-87-0719 cons.
523 N.E.2d 176, 168 Ill. App. 3d 665, 119 Ill. Dec. 708 1988.IL.626
Appeal from the Circuit Court of McLean County; the Hon. Wayne C. Townley, Jr., Judge, presiding.
JUSTICE LUND delivered the opinion of the court. GREEN, P.J., and McCULLOUGH, J., concur.
DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE LUND
Six causes have been consolidated because the issues raised by the plaintiffs are identical. Plaintiffs alleged medical malpractice in their complaints filed against Dr. J. Richard Doud and Brokaw Hospital (hospital). The hospital filed motions for summary judgment. The circuit court of McLean County granted the motions in these six cases. Plaintiffs then filed motions for rehearing with the request to add a supplemental affidavit from their expert witness. The trial court denied these motions and made a finding pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 304(a) (107 Ill. 2d R. 304(a)) permitting an immediate appeal.
Plaintiffs argue two errors on appeal: (1) the trial court erred in granting summary judgment, as the hospital should have been on notice of possible malpractice because of the inordinate number of surgeries performed; and (2) the trial court erred in denying plaintiffs' motion for rehearing. The facts and issues in these consolidated cases are nearly identical to the six consolidated causes in Reynolds v. Mennonite Hospital (1988), 168 Ill. App. 3d 575. In Reynolds, we upheld the trial court's grant of summary judgment in those medical malpractice actions. However, plaintiffs in these cases alleged additional facts which required us to hold in their favor and against defendant hospital. Because we find the court erred in granting summary judgment, we need not consider the question of plaintiffs' motion for rehearing.
Plaintiffs went to Dr. Doud for treatment of injuries and recurring pain. Doud in each case diagnosed thoracic outlet syndrome and performed rib resection surgery at Brokaw Hospital. Plaintiffs allege in their complaints that the diagnoses were improper and the surgeries were unnecessary. Plaintiffs further allege the surgeries were performed negligently.
As to Brokaw Hospital, plaintiffs allege the hospital failed to "review and supervise the work of those physicians holding staff privileges within the hospital, so as to insure their competency to diagnose, treat, and perform surgery so that unnecessary surgery would not be performed." Plaintiffs allege the hospital failed to follow its medical staff bylaws requiring ongoing evaluations of the performance of the surgeons. In addition, plaintiffs allege the number of rib resections performed was far greater than what could reasonably be expected in a hospital such as Brokaw, and in a community such as Bloomington-Normal.
Plaintiffs provided the affidavit of Dr. Arthur Kaufman. Dr. Kaufman was employed in an administrative capacity with the Federal government. He designs and reviews hospital quality control programs. In his affidavit, Kaufman discussed the hospital's failure to conform to acceptable standards of certification and evaluation of surgeons. Kaufman also stated the following:
"16. I have reviewed the numbers of patients admitted to Defendant Hospital with a diagnosis of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome and the number of surgeries performed by Defendant Doud in the calendar years 1977 through 1985. . . .
17. In the experience of this Affiant, these numbers represent a dramatic progression in the number of procedures performed for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. The numbers of procedures performed are far greater than what could reasonably be expected in a hospital such as the Defendant and in a community such as Bloomington/Normal.
18. The failure to perform the continuing surveillance of the medical staff as required by its own bylaws and the failure to recognize a dramatic and unexplained increase in the amount of procedures performed for Thoracic Outlet ...