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09/26/97 MARY JO HUBBARD AND GLENN HUBBARD v.

September 26, 1997

MARY JO HUBBARD AND GLENN HUBBARD, PLAINTIFFS-APPELLANTS,
v.
SHERMAN HOSPITAL, MICHAEL MICHELOTTI, AND RICHARD BERGLUND, DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Kane County. No. 94--L--141. Honorable Pamela K. Jensen, Judge, Presiding.

Rule 23 Order Redesignated Opinion and Ordered Published September 26, 1997. Released for Publication October 24, 1997.

The Honorable Justice Inglis delivered the opinion of the court. Geiger, P.j. concurs. Justice Bowman, dissenting.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Inglis

The Honorable Justice INGLIS delivered the opinion of the court:

Plaintiff, Mary Jo Hubbard, filed a medical malpractice action against defendants, Sherman Hospital, Dr. Michael Michelotti, and Dr. Richard Berglund, for personal injuries resulting from allegedly negligent medical treatment for appendicitis and subsequent postoperative complications. Plaintiff, Glenn Hubbard, also filed an action for loss of consortium against defendants. (Because Glenn Hubbard's action is a derivative of the medical malpractice action, future references to "plaintiff" will be to Mary Jo Hubbard alone.) Plaintiff appeals the jury's verdict entered in favor of all defendants. We affirm.

Plaintiff arrived at the Sherman Hospital emergency room on May 10, 1993, complaining of abdominal pain. She was treated and released. The next day, plaintiff returned to the emergency room, still complaining of abdominal pain. Dr. Berglund, plaintiff's attending physician, admitted her to Sherman Hospital late in the evening of May 11 following a telephone conversation with one of the emergency room doctors.

Dr. Berglund first examined plaintiff at about 7 a.m. on May 12. After examining plaintiff, Dr. Berglund ordered a surgical consultation. Dr. Michelotti, plaintiff's attending surgeon, examined plaintiff in the morning of May 12. He ordered a CT scan in an attempt to rule out a perforated appendix as the cause of plaintiff's distress. At about 3 p.m., plaintiff underwent a CT scan which revealed plaintiff had acute appendicitis with possible perforation. Dr. Michelotti removed plaintiff's appendix in an operation beginning at about 8 p.m. on May 12.

Plaintiff remained hospitalized from May 12 to May 18. During that time, no further CT scans or blood testing was performed. Also during that time, plaintiff complained of abdominal pain and consistently experienced slightly elevated temperatures. Plaintiff was discharged from the hospital on May 18.

Plaintiff returned to Dr. Michelotti's office on May 20, complaining of severe abdominal pain. A CT scan performed on May 22 revealed that plaintiff had developed a pelvic abscess. Plaintiff was again hospitalized and underwent a second surgery to remove the abscess. Plaintiff was discharged on May 31 after undergoing antibiotic therapy.

Plaintiff instituted this medical malpractice action on February 10, 1994, against Sherman Hospital and Dr. Michelotti. Plaintiff later amended her complaint, adding Dr. Berglund as a defendant. Plaintiff alleged that Dr. Michelotti and Sherman Hospital committed one or more of the following negligent acts:

"(a) Failed to both diagnose and discover the fact that plaintiff *** suffered from appendicitis;

(b) Misdiagnosed the condition of [plaintiff];

(c) Failed to treat [plaintiff's] condition of appendicitis;

(d) Failed to either perform or properly perform necessary testing procedures in order to properly diagnose and treat the plaintiff's illness;

(e) Failed to take precautions so as to prevent plaintiff's appendix from rupturing;

(f) Improperly and unskillfully post-operatively attended and treated plaintiff *** inasmuch as ...


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