Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Cload v. West

April 03, 2002

LINDSEY CLOAD A MINOR, BY HER MOTHER AND NEXT FRIEND, GINA CLOAD, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
ANN WEST, F/K/A ANN HOLMQUIST, DEFENDANT (COPLEY MEMORIAL HOSPITAL AND E. REIMER, DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS).



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Kane County. No. 99-L-443 Honorable Pamela K. Jensen, Judge, Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Grometer

Released for publication May 1, 2002.

LINDSEY CLOAD A MINOR, BY HER MOTHER AND NEXT FRIEND, GINA CLOAD, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
ANN WEST, F/K/A ANN HOLMQUIST, DEFENDANT (COPLEY MEMORIAL HOSPITAL AND E. REIMER, DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS).

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Kane County. No. 99-L-443 Honorable Pamela K. Jensen, Judge, Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Grometer

PUBLISHED

 Defendants E. Reimer and Copley Memorial Hospital (Copley) (Ann West is not involved in this appeal) appeal an order of the circuit court of Kane County denying their motion to dismiss brought pursuant to section 2--619 of the Civil Practice Law (735 ILCS 5/2--619 (West 2000)). In their motion, defendants contended, inter alia, that plaintiff's present action is barred by res judicata. The trial court disagreed. Defendants then requested the trial court to make the necessary findings under Supreme Court Rule 308 (155 Ill. 2d R. 308) that would allow an interlocutory appeal. This request was granted and the trial court certified the following question for review: "[U]nder the doctrine of res judicata, is there an identity of cause of action in plaintiffs' [sic] prior and present suits[?]" We answer this question in the affirmative.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff, Lindsey Cload, by her mother and next friend, Gina Cload, instituted an action against Dr. Ann West, Dr. Philip Jacobsen, and Copley in the circuit court of Cook County on March 3, 1995. The complaint sounded in malpractice and concerned events related to the birth of Lindsey. Lindsey was born on June 13, 1991. Gina began experiencing labor pains that morning and was admitted to Copley at approximately 10 a.m. She was placed under the care of West, an obstetrician. At approximately 5:15 p.m., Lindsey was delivered. Lindsey was born with significant brain injuries and suffers from cerebral palsy.

Lindsey contends that her injuries were a result of the negligence of various individuals involved in her birth. In an earlier action to which Gina was also a party, Lindsey and Gina set forth a four-count complaint. Count I named Lindsey as the plaintiff and alleged three omissions by West and Jacobsen. First, it stated that the doctors failed to order a caesarian section despite evidence of fetal distress. Second, it alleged that they failed to perform a caesarian section despite evidence of fetal distress. Third, it asserted that they failed to conduct tests necessary to diagnose Lindsey's condition. Count II was also brought in Lindsey's name and identified Copley as the defendant. In this count, it was alleged that Copley, through its servants and agents, failed to promptly notify the doctors of evidence of fetal distress and failed to perform appropriate tests to diagnose Lindsey's condition. Count III and count IV repeated the allegations contained in the first two counts; however, Gina was named as the plaintiff.

Copley moved for summary judgment on the first complaint. Copley argued that plaintiff had failed to identify an expert witness that could testify as to how Copley deviated from the standard of care. The trial court granted Copley's motion on August 28, 1997.

On July 24, 2000, an amended complaint was filed. Lindsey was listed as the sole plaintiff. As defendants, the complaint identified West, Copley, and Reimer, who was a Copley employee. The complaint contained two counts. Count I was directed against West and was based on several omissions. First, it again alleged that West failed to order a caesarian section despite evidence of fetal distress. Second, it again asserted that West failed to perform a caesarian section despite evidence of fetal distress. Third, it repeated the allegation that West failed to conduct tests necessary to diagnose Lindsey's condition. Fourth, it alleged that West failed to take appropriate steps to clear Lindsey's airway "following delivery." Fifth, it maintained that West failed to have appropriate personnel present to attend to Lindsey "immediately following delivery." Finally, it stated that West was otherwise careless and negligent.

The second count of the amended complaint was directed against Copley and Reimer. This count was based on several acts or omissions occurring "upon the delivery" of plaintiff. First, it asserted that defendants failed to properly resuscitate Lindsey. Second, it alleged that defendants failed to promptly and adequately suction meconium from Lindsey's airways. Third, it maintained that defendants failed to promptly intubate Lindsey. Fourth, it alleged defendants failed to properly monitor and support Lindsey's respiration. Fifth, it stated that defendants were otherwise careless and negligent.

Defendants moved to dismiss plaintiff's amended complaint, arguing that the current action was barred by res judicata. The trial court denied defendants' motion. The court observed that the first two elements necessary to invoke the doctrine--a final judgment on the merits and identity of parties--were indisputably met. However, the court concluded that the final element, identity of cause of action, was lacking. The court first acknowledged our supreme court's decision in River Park, Inc. v. City of Highland Park, 184 Ill. 2d 290 (1998), which adopted the transactional test and rejected the same-evidence test for determining whether an identity of cause of action exists for the purpose of res judicata. The court then observed that the River Park, Inc. court found the parallels between factual allegations contained in the complaints in the two actions at issue were "a most telling indication of identity of cause of action." In the present case, the court reasoned, the allegations contained in the first complaint ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.