Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

MONTGOMERY v. UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO

May 27, 1991

JERRY MONTGOMERY, Plaintiff,
v.
THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO; THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO'S DEPARTMENT OF OPHTHALMOLOGY; THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO'S ADMINISTRATION OR BOARD OF DIRECTORS; DR. PETER H. MORSE; DR. VICTOR M. ELNER; and DR. ERIC J. DELPIERO, Defendants



The opinion of the court was delivered by: ASPEN

 MARVIN E. ASPEN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

 I. Summary Judgment Standard

 Under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, summary judgment is appropriate if "there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and . . . the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c). This standard places the initial burden on the moving party to identify "those portions of 'the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any' which it believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact." Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323, 106 S. Ct. 2548, 2553, 91 L. Ed. 2d 265 (1986) (quoting Rule 56(c)). Once the moving party has done this, the non-moving party "must set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e).

 The point at which a plaintiff knew or should have known of his injury and its wrongful cause, see infra, is generally a question of fact for the trier of fact. Neaterour v. Holt, 188 Ill. App. 3d 741, 746, 544 N.E.2d 846, 850 (4th Dist. 1989), appeal denied, 129 Ill. 2d 565, 550 N.E.2d 558 (1990). Where the facts are undisputed, however, and only one conclusion can be drawn from them, the point at which a plaintiff knew or should have known of his injury and its wrongful cause becomes a question of law suitable for summary judgment resolution. Id.

 II. Factual Background

 We take the factual background pertinent to the motion for summary judgment from the amended complaint and plaintiff's deposition. Montgomery's relevant medical history begins on or about September 18, 1984 when a gun discharged and a "foreign substance" (possibly a piece of metal) lodged in his eye. Amended Complaint at 8. Although he received emergency treatment at the Gary (Indiana) Methodist Hospital, the foreign substance remained in his right eye. Id. Unsatisfied with his treatment in Indiana, Montgomery visited the University of Chicago's ophthalmology department in late February, 1985. Id. There, doctors made arrangements to surgically remove the foreign body from Montgomery's eye. Id.

 On or around March 13, 1985, doctors at the University of Chicago, including defendant Morse, operated on Montgomery's eye. Id. These doctors told Montgomery post-surgery that the foreign substance had been removed. Id. After his release from the University hospital, Montgomery had no further contact with UC Hospitals or others at the University hospital. Montgomery Deposition at 108.

 Despite the doctors' assurances that the surgery had been successful in removing the metal fragment from his eye, Montgomery had his doubts almost immediately. Amended Complaint at 8 ("the defendants verbally reported that they had removed the [foreign body] (but the plaintiff could feel it)"). Asked at his deposition at what point he reached the conclusion that, despite what his doctors were telling him, he still had a foreign body in his eye, Montgomery answered:

 
right after surgery. I've always suspected, even after surgery, that I've always had the -- yes, I've always -- because the pain was there. If -- I never had no pain in my eyes prior to being injured, so I know the foreign body -- the associated pain was there in the same specific area.

 Montgomery Deposition at 147; see also id. (Question: "So you're saying that the pain that you had prior to surgery was the same type of pain that you had after surgery, so, therefore, you believe that the foreign body was still there?" Answer: "Yes . . . I could feel the foreign body in my eye at this present time").

 At least one of the Freeport doctors conducted "scans" of Montgomery's eye, and "did confirm the fact that the foreign body was in the eye." Id. at 113, 114; see also id. at 143-44 ("After surgery, when I went to Freeport and the doctors told me, 'Well, my machine is showing the presence ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.