Appeal from the Circuit Court Cook County. Honorable Arthur L. Dunne, Judge Presiding.
Rehearing Denied August 2, 1995. Petition for Leave to Appeal Denied December 6, 1995.
The Honorable Justice Cahill delivered the opinion of the court: Hoffman, P.j., and S.m. O'brien, J., concur.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Cahill
JUSTICE CAHILL delivered the opinion of the court:
Plaintiff Dr. Abel Garibaldi appeals the grant of summary judgment for defendants on count I of his complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief. We reverse and remand.
Garibaldi was a member of Cardiovascular Renal Consultants (CRC) until 1992. Defendants Dr. Applebaum, Dr. Hoeksema, and Dr. Allocco were also members. The doctors of CRC performed open heart surgery at hospitals in the Chicago area. St. Francis hospital had entered into an exclusive contract with CRC in 1987. The contract provided that only members of CRC could perform open heart surgery at the hospital.
CRC was dissolved in early 1992. Applebaum, Hoeksema, and Allocco then formed a new corporation, Cardiovascular Medical Consultants (CMC). CMC performed open heart surgery at St. Francis in 1992, but did not have an exclusive contract with the hospital. Garibaldi also performed open heart surgery at the hospital as an independent practitioner.
The hospital learned in October 1992 that the mortality rates for Garibaldi's patients had increased since he began to perform open heart surgery on high risk patients in early 1992. It also learned that some of Garibaldi's assistants were not certified as cardiovascular surgeons. The hospital's cardiac conference committee met to discussGaribaldi's practice and possible responses of the hospital to the increased mortality rates.
Within a month, the hospital entered into an exclusive contract with Applebaum. The contract stated that only Applebaum's employees would be allowed to perform open heart surgery at the hospital.
When his exclusive contract went into effect on January 1, 1993, Applebaum refused to employ Garibaldi. Garibaldi then filed this action seeking declaratory and injunctive relief in count I and damages for breach of contract and tortious interference in counts II and III. Garibaldi alleged that St. Francis Hospital failed to follow the notice and hearing procedures required under articles VII and VIII of the bylaws when it contracted with Applebaum, effectively extinguishing Garibaldi's clinical privileges. Article VII, section 3(c) of the hospital bylaws states:
"Actions which limit, reduce, suspend or revoke membership or clinical privileges of a practitioner of the staff of the Hospital or revoke staff membership shall be deemed to be adverse to the practitioner and shall entitle the practitioner to notice and the hearing and appeal procedures as provided in Article VIII. These actions include:
(2) Reduction, suspension or revocation of clinical privileges and/or ...