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Gallaher v. Hasbrouk

Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, Fifth Division

December 31, 2013

VICTORIA GALLAHER, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
LaMAR HASBROUK, Director of Public Health, JOHN ABRELL, Chief Administrative Law Judge of the Department of Public Health, and THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH, Defendants-Appellees.

Rule 23 Order filed September 30, 2013

Rule 23 Order withdrawn October 31, 2013

Held [*]

In an action filed by a paramedic and emergency medical services instructor seeking to suspend and dismiss an administrative action by the Department of Public Health to revoke her instructor’s license, the trial court properly found that plaintiff was not required to exhaust her administrative remedies and it also properly entered summary judgment against plaintiff after rejecting her contention that the Department was required to implement a “plan of correction” pursuant to section 3.130 of the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Systems Act to address her alleged misconduct before revoking her license, since section 3.130 applies to facilities, systems, and equipment, not individuals.

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County, No. 11-CH-21745; the Hon. Franklin U. Valderamma, Judge, presiding.

Emily Johnson, of Hunter & Johnson P.C., of Godfrey, and Edward Clancy, of Ungaretti & Harris, LLP, of Chicago, for appellant.

Lisa Madigan, Attorney General, of Chicago (Michael A. Scodro, Solicitor General, and Christopher M.R. Turner, Assistant Attorney General, of counsel), for appellees.

Panel JUSTICE McBRIDE delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Presiding Justice Gordon and Justice Palmer concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

McBRIDE JUSTICE

¶ 1 Plaintiff Victoria Gallaher, a paramedic and emergency medical services instructor, sought injunctive relief and a declaratory judgment from the circuit court of Cook County to suspend and ultimately dismiss an administrative action brought by the State of Illinois to revoke her instructor's license. The trial court enjoined the administrative action, but later rejected Gallaher's contention that the defendant State agency was misconstruing its statutory authority to revoke her license without first implementing a "plan of correction" to address her alleged misconduct. Gallaher appeals from the trial court's adverse ruling on cross-motions for summary judgment, primarily contending that a section of the Illinois Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Systems Act (hereinafter EMS Act) entitled "Facility, system, and equipment violations; Plans of Correction" (210 ILCS 50/3.130 (West 2010)), applies to individuals and entitled Gallaher to a plan of correction. The three defendants to this appeal are LaMar Hasbrouk, Director of the Department of Public Health, John Abrell, chief administrative law judge of the Department of Public Health, and the Department of Public Health, which we will refer to collectively as the Department.

¶ 2 Gallaher resides in Nauvoo, Illinois, a small community west-southwest of Chicago on the banks of the Mississippi River, across from the state of Iowa. Gallaher contends she currently holds "Emergency Medical Technician-Paramedic" or "EMT-P" licenses in the states of Illinois (210 ILCS 50/3.100, 3.50(c) (West 2012)), Iowa, and Missouri, although the Department counters that her Missouri EMT-P license expired on September 30, 2009. In any event, the credential at issue is Gallaher's Illinois license as an "EMS Lead Instructor" (210 ILCS 50/3.65 (West 2010)).[1]

¶ 3 Section 3.65 of the EMS Act is entitled "EMS Lead Instructor" and consists of two parts. The first part, subsection (a), defines "EMS Lead Instructor" as "a person who has successfully completed a course of education as prescribed by the Department, and who is currently approved by the Department to coordinate or teach education, training and continuing education courses, in accordance with standards prescribed by this Act and rules adopted by the Department pursuant to this Act." 210 ILCS 50/3.65(a) (West 2010).

¶ 4 The second part, subsection (b), specifies that the Department has "the authority and responsibility" to take certain actions with regard to EMS Lead Instructors. These acts include to dictate minimum education requirements and testing requirements for EMS Lead Instructor candidates, to charge fees to each EMS Lead Instructor candidate for his or her examination and certification and recertification, to require that courses for EMS personnel be "coordinated" by at least one approved EMS Lead Instructor, and to set "standards and procedures for awarding EMS Lead Instructor approval to persons previously approved by the Department to coordinate such courses." Of particular interest here is that the final paragraphs of subsection (b) state that the Department also has "the authority and responsibility" to:

"(7) Suspend or revoke the approval of an EMS Lead Instructor, after an opportunity for a hearing, when findings show one or more of the following:
(A)The EMS Lead Instructor has failed to conduct a course in accordance with the curriculum prescribed by this Act and rules adopted by the ...

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