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07/24/95 STEVE KARAGIANNAKOS v. BENJAMIN GRUBER

July 24, 1995

STEVE KARAGIANNAKOS, AND DEMETRIA TOULA KARAGIANNAKOS, ANTHONY KARAGIANNAKOS, KOULA KARAGIANNAKOS, AND MARIA KARAGIANNAKOS, PLAINTIFFS-APPELLANTS,
v.
BENJAMIN GRUBER, M.D., DEFENDANT-APPELLEE.



APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF COOK COUNTY. HONORABLE LESTER A. BONAGURO, JUDGE PRESIDING.

Petition for Leave to Appeal Denied December 6, 1995.

The Honorable Justice Wolfson delivered the opinion of the court: Campbell, P.j. and Braden, J., concur.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Wolfson

JUSTICE WOLFSON delivered the opinion of the court:

In Illinois, today, when a parent dies because of someone else's negligence, that parent's child and spouse may bring loss of consortium claims against the wrongdoer.

If, instead of dying, the parent is severely and permanently injured, the spouse still may bring a claim against the wrongdoer. The child cannot.

In this appeal, the minor plaintiffs ask: why not?

The answer is provided by the reviewing courts that have been asked the same question in other cases.

We affirm the trial court order dismissing the loss of parental consortium claim made in this case.

PROCEEDINGS IN THE TRIAL COURT

Steven Karagiannakos filed a cause of action seeking to recover damages for injuries he sustained when defendant Benjamin Gruber, M.D., performed surgery on his ear. Plaintiff alleged that during the course of surgery, defendant negligently punctured his dura (the brain membrane), causing "injury including a temporal lobe abscess."

In count III of the second amended complaint, Steven's three children, Anthony, Koula and Maria, complained that they suffered the loss of consortium of their father due to the nonfatal injuries he received as a result of the defendant's negligent medical treatment. Plaintiffs allege their father's injuries "include seizures, acute mental status changes, severe disorientation, confusion, and lethargy." As a result, Steven "is unable to work at all." Plaintiffs allege their father no longer displays affection to them and that he has become hostile to, and estranged from, them. Plaintiffs claim that their father can no longer provide financial support, "guidance, moral instruction, companionship and parental love and affection."

Defendants brought a motion to dismiss count III of the plaintiffs' second amended complaint on the basis that Illinois has repeatedly refused to recognize a cause of action for loss of parental consortium resulting from nonfatal injuries. The trial court ...


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