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12/22/88 Evelyn Johnson, v. Sheldon Steiner Et Al.

December 22, 1988

EVELYN JOHNSON, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT

v.

SHELDON STEINER ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES (NORTHWEST HOSPITAL, INC., ET AL., DEFENDANTS)



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, FOURTH DIVISION

534 N.E.2d 391, 179 Ill. App. 3d 556, 128 Ill. Dec. 209 1988.IL.1857

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

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE LINN delivered the opinion of the court. JOHNSON and McMORROW, JJ., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE LINN

Plaintiff, Evelyn Johnson, brought a medical malpractice action in the circuit court of Cook County against defendants, Northwest Hospital, Inc; Arvind Patel, M.D.; Sheldon Steiner, M.D.; Arthur Broder, M.D.; Ralph Cabin, M.D.; Shobha Parikh, M.D.; Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Associates, S.C.; Consultants In Neurology, Ltd.; and unknown medical personnel and employees of Northwest Hospital. Drs. Patel and Steiner each sought and received summary judgment, based on their affidavits accompanying their motions.

Approximately one year later, plaintiff filed a petition for relief from judgment. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1987, ch. 110, par. 2-1401.) Plaintiff petitioned the trial court to vacate the summary judgments for Patel and Steiner, thereby reinstating them in the action. Plaintiff appeals from the trial court's denial of her petition, contending that the trial court abused its discretion.

We affirm the order of the trial court.

Background

The record shows that on August 29, 1983, plaintiff was involved in an automobile accident. She was taken to Northwest Hospital, where she was initially examined and treated in the emergency room by various medical personnel. She was admitted to the hospital and underwent examinations, tests, and treatment for several days, administered by defendants.

Plaintiff alleged that during her stay at Northwest Hospital, X- ray photographs of her were taken. The X rays revealed that plaintiff's left wrist was fractured. However, defendants failed to treat this injury. On November 11, 1983, plaintiff sought treatment for her left wrist at another hospital. On November 15, 1983, plaintiff underwent surgery to repair the fracture.

Plaintiff filed her amended complaint on August 9, 1985. She named as defendants Northwest Hospital; Parikh; Broder; Cabin; Consultants In Neurology, Ltd., which employed Cabin; Patel; Steiner; Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Associates, S.C., which was Steiner's solely owned professional corporation; and other unknown medical personnel and hospital employees. Plaintiff alleged essentially that defendants breached their duty of due care owed to her by negligently failing to examine, diagnose, and treat her left wrist. Plaintiff further alleged that defendants' negligence proximately caused her several injuries. Plaintiff sought damages.

Patel filed a motion for summary judgment on January 14, 1986. In support thereof, he attached to the motion his own affidavit. Patel stated in his affidavit that he did not practice radiology or orthopedics, and that he never examined or treated plaintiff's left wrist; he was never asked to do so. His treatment of plaintiff focused exclusively on her abdominal injuries. Patel lastly stated that, in his treatment of plaintiff's abdominal injuries, he acted within the accepted standard of care at all times. In his motion for summary judgment, Patel stated that he was called in as a consultant exclusively regarding plaintiff's abdominal injuries and that plaintiff was not complaining of that treatment. Patel stated that no genuine issue existed as to any material fact related to him.

On March 5, 1986, the trial court held a hearing on Patel's motion for summary judgment. The record shows that the court offered to postpone the hearing on the motion, to allow plaintiff an opportunity to depose Patel. Plaintiff ...


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