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Reagan v. Searcy

June 21, 2001

WARREN REAGAN, AS SPECIAL ADMINISTRATOR FOR THE ESTATE OF MICHAEL K. REAGAN, DECEASED, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
LLOYD SEARCY, DEFENDANT-APPELLEE, AND PROTESTANT MEMORIAL MEDICAL CENTER, INC., AND DIANA M. WARNER, DEFENDANTS.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of St. Clair County. No. 99-CH-726 Honorable Patrick M. Young, Judge, presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Presiding Justice Chapman

Not Released For Publication

WARREN REAGAN, AS SPECIAL ADMINISTRATOR FOR THE ESTATE OF MICHAEL K. REAGAN, DECEASED, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
LLOYD SEARCY, DEFENDANT-APPELLEE, AND PROTESTANT MEMORIAL MEDICAL CENTER, INC., AND DIANA M. WARNER, DEFENDANTS.

Appeal from the Circuit Court of St. Clair County. No. 99-CH-726 Honorable Patrick M. Young, Judge, presiding.

Attorney for Appellant George R. Ripplinger, George R. Ripplinger and Associates, 2215 West Main Street, Belleville, IL 62226-6692 Attorney for Appellee Brian A. Babka, Chatham & Babka, 4010 N. Illinois, Swansea, IL 62226

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Presiding Justice Chapman

 Warren Reagan (plaintiff) sought the medical records of Lloyd Searcy (defendant) in an arbitration proceeding concerning underinsured-motorist insurance coverage. The proceedings are entitled In the Matter of the Arbitration Between: Warren and Michael Reagan vs. State Farm Insurance Company. Defendant and his medical care providers refused to supply the medical records. Plaintiff then filed a separate petition for a rule to show cause as to why defendant and his care providers should not be held in contempt for their refusals. The trial court granted defendant's motions to dismiss the petition for a rule to show cause.

Plaintiff contends that the medical records should be discoverable in the arbitration proceeding. He bases this contention on several theories, one of which is the holding in Gleason v. St. Elizabeth Medical Center, 135 Ill. App. 3d 92, 481 N.E.2d 780 (1985). We overrule our decision in Gleason and affirm the dismissal of the petition.

FACTS

On March 27, 1994, defendant and Michael Reagan were involved in a head-on collision. Michael Reagan, a minor, died of injuries sustained in the accident, and he left his parents and three minor siblings surviving. Plaintiff is the administrator of Michael Reagan's estate. An underinsured-motorist claim is currently pending, and it involves the issue of defendant's sobriety at the time of the accident. Defendant's liability insurance company has already paid its policy limit of $20,000 toward settling the claim. The insurance company for Michael Reagan's estate also has paid its policy limit of $100,000 to defendant.

Defendant was deposed for the pending arbitration proceedings. During the deposition, defendant stated that he had shared "a pitcher or so" of beer with a companion prior to the accident. Defendant sustained multiple injuries in the collision and was seen by doctors at Protestant Memorial Hospital. Defendant refused to sign an authorization for the release of those medical records.

On April 21, 1998, a subpoena requesting the medical records for defendant's treatment following the accident was served on Diana M. Warner, the medical records supervisor at Protestant Memorial Medical Center, Inc. On April 24, 1998, Warner refused to honor the subpoena. As indicated earlier, plaintiff's petition for a rule to show cause was denied. Plaintiff has appealed.

ANALYS ...


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