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04/11/95 CHERYL TOTH v. RICHARD L. JENSEN

April 11, 1995

CHERYL TOTH, MOTHER AND NEXT FRIEND OF MELISSA TOTH, A MINOR, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
RICHARD L. JENSEN, OLYMPIA FIELDS OSTEOPATHIC MEDICAL CENTER, AND MARY D. MARCUS, DEFENDANTS. (RANDALL C. MONROE, CONTEMNOR-APPELLANT).



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. The Honorable Odas Nicholson, Judge Presiding.

Released for Publication May 26, 1995.

The Honorable Justice DiVITO delivered the opinion of the court: Hartman and McCORMICK, JJ., concur.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Divito

JUSTICE DiVITO delivered the opinion of the court:

This appeal is from a contempt judgment against attorney Randall C. Monroe who, in reliance on the privilege provided by the Medical Studies Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1989, ch. 110, par. 8-2101 et seq. (now 735 ILCS 5/8-2101 et seq. (West 1992))), refused to produce documents subpoenaed in a medical malpractice action. Because we find the documents were protected by the privilege, we reverse the circuit court's judgment.

In the underlying action, filed on July 21, 1989, plaintiff alleged that defendants Dr. Richard L. Jensen and Dr. Mary Marcus were guilty of medical malpractice in connection with her delivery of Melissa Toth on November 27, 1983, at defendant Olympia Fields Osteopathic Medical Center. On September 16, 1992, plaintiff filed a second request for production of documents, pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 214 (134 Ill. 2d R. 214), which included a request for "any and all documents in Dr. Jensen's personnel file relating to the particular areas of practice for which Dr. Jensen was credentialed at Olympia Fields Osteopathic Medical Center." In response, Jensen objected to producing the following documents, asserting privileged status under the Medical Studies Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1989, ch. 110, par. 8-2101 et seq. (now 735 ILCS 5/8-2101 et seq. (West 1992))):

(a) yearly evaluation dated May 4, 1989, signed by the chairman of the department of surgery;

(b) yearly evaluation dated May 31, 1990, signed by the chairman of the department of surgery;

(c) standard criteria/evaluation of staff privileges, dated July 12, 1991, signed by the chairman of the department of surgery;

(d) memorandum to Robert L. Hambrick, D.O., chairman of the credentials committee, from P. Robert Lombardo, D.O., chairman of the department of surgery, undated;

(e) standard criteria/evaluation of staff privileges, dated March 31, 1992, signed by the chairman of the department of surgery, attached to preceding memorandum in (d) above; and

(f) confidential physician evaluation form, dated April 27, 1992, signed by Scott O'Donnelly, D.O.

The Medical Studies Act states, in relevant part:

"8-2101. Information obtained. All information, interviews, reports, statements, memoranda or other data of the Illinois Department of Public Health, municipal health departments, the Illinois Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities, the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Medical Review Board, Illinois State Medical Society, allied medical societies, health maintenance organizations and medical organizations under contract with health maintenance organizations, physician-owned inter-insurance exchanges and their agents, or committees of licensed or accredited hospitals or their medical staffs, including Patient Care Audit Committees, Medical Care Evaluation Committees, Utilization Review Committees, Credential Committees and Executive Committees, (but not the medical records pertaining to the patient), used in the course of internal quality control or of medical study for the purpose of reducing ...


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