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12/12/89 Melvin N. Seglin, v. Old Orchard Hospital Et Al

December 12, 1989





548 N.E.2d 626, 192 Ill. App. 3d 176, 139 Ill. Dec. 241 1989.IL.1929

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


PRESIDING JUSTICE BILANDIC delivered the opinion of the court. SCARIANO and EGAN,* JJ., concur.


Plaintiff, Dr. Melvin Seglin, sued defendants for the summary suspension of his admitting and staff privileges at Old Orchard Hospital (the Hospital). The trial court dismissed this case pursuant to defendants' section 2-615 motion (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 110, par. 2-615). Defendant appealed the denial of attorney fees. Plaintiff cross-appealed the dismissal of this action.

The motion to dismiss was, in reality, a hybrid motion which involved two allegations which were proper under section 2-615 (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 110, par. 2-615), and a third allegation which was proper under section 2-619 (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 110, par. 2-619). The form of the motion, which was labeled simply "Motion to Dismiss" and only referred to section 2-615, while improper, does not require dismissal absent a showing of prejudice. (Wilde v. First Federal Savings & Loan Association (1985), 134 Ill. App. 3d 722, 480 N.E.2d 1236; Cali v. DeMattei (1984), 121 Ill. App. 3d 623, 460 N.E.2d 121.) No prejudice was alleged here. Thus, we will consider the allegations raised in this hybrid motion.

Plaintiff, a psychiatrist, filed a two-count action seeking damages. In count I, he alleged that defendants breached their contract with him by suspending his admitting privileges at the hospital in contravention of its bylaws, rules and regulations. In count II, he alleged that the suspension of his admitting privileges was a tortious interference with prospective business relationships between him and his patients.

The pleadings allege the following facts. Dr. Seglin had full admitting privileges at the hospital since 1977. A dispute arose between Dr. Seglin and the hospital over how to approach caring for a juvenile patient. The patient was admitted to the hospital in July 1981. When that patient was discharged from the hospital in October 1981, Dr. Seglin had no other patients in the hospital. As a result of the dispute, Dr. Esau, as medical director of the hospital, initiated a request that all of Dr. Seglin's staff and admitting privileges be summarily suspended, on the grounds that plaintiff failed to maintain appropriate medical records and had failed to attend meetings unilaterally scheduled by defendant Kachoris, as director of the child program.

As a result of Dr. Esau's request, the administrative committee summarily suspended plaintiff on October 14, 1981. Plaintiff alleges that this suspension was a breach of contract because the grounds for the suspension were on their face inadequate to support the suspension according to the bylaws and rules.

The pleadings further allege that in breach of the contract, an ad hoc committee was appointed to review the suspension. The appointment of the ad hoc committee violated the bylaws. Neither the administrative committee nor the ad hoc committee afforded plaintiff an appearance within the time limits required in the bylaws and rules relating to summary suspension. The ad hoc committee unanimously decided to continue the suspension and gave its report to that effect to the administrative committee on or about October 30, 1981.

The administrative committee decided to continue the suspension. Dr. Seglin was notified of the continuation of his suspension on November 4, 1981.

A hearing before a judicial review committee was arranged at Dr. Seglin's request. (The JRC is not an independent judicial body, but is a committee within the hospital's corporate structure.) Dr. Seglin maintained that the suspension should be declared invalid because the administrative committee's actions did not adhere to the provisos of the bylaws. Hearings were concluded on November 19, 1982.

The JRC's report, issued on January 13, 1983, concluded that the suspension was unwarranted and not supported by the ...

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