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McVey v. M.L.K. Enters., L.L.C.

Supreme Court of Illinois

May 21, 2015

ALMA McVEY, Appellee,
v.
M.L.K. ENTERPRISES, L.L.C. (Southern Illinois Hospital Services, d/b/a Memorial Hospital of Carbondale, Appellant)

Michael F. Dahlen and Kara L. Jones, of Feirich/Mager/Green/Ryan, and John R. Daly, all of Carbondale, for appellant.

Darrell Dunham, of Carbondale, for appellee.

Anita Alvarez, State's Attorney, of Chicago (Daniel F. Gallagher, Jeffrey S. McCutchan, Kent S. Ray and Lauren B. Klein, Assistant State's Attorneys, of counsel), for amicus curiae County of Cook.

William Gregory, of Koth & Gregory, P.C., of Bloomington, amicus curiae.

Richard R. King and Sherri DeVito, of Chicago, Adrienne J. Hersh, of Highland Park, and Mark D. Deaton, of Naperville, for amici curiae Illinois State Medical Society et al.

Chief Justice Garman and Justices Freeman, Thomas, Kilbride, Karmeier, and Burke concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

Page 1113

THEIS, JUSTICE.

[¶1] The sole issue in this health care lien adjudication case is whether under section 10 of the Health Care Services Lien Act (Act) (770 ILCS 23/10 (West 2012)), attorney fees and costs must be deducted fro a verdict, judgment, award, settlement, or compromise prior to calculating the amount available for the satisfaction of a health care lien. For the reasons that follow, we hold that under section 10, attorney fees and costs should not be deducted from a plaintiff's total recovery prior to calculating the amount to be awarded for the payment of any health care lien.

[¶2] BACKGROUND

[¶3] This case arose out of a personal injury lawsuit filed by plaintiff, Alma McVey, in the circuit court of Jackson County for injuries she allegedly sustained on October 9, 2010, after a waitress at a restaurant owned by defendant, M.L.K. Enterprises, LLC, dropped a tray of drinks on her foot. Southern Illinois Hospital Services, d/b/a Memorial Hospital of Carbondale, treated plaintiff for the injuries to her foot. Plaintiff ultimately settled the lawsuit with defendant for $7,500.

[¶4] On April 3, 2013, plaintiff filed a petition to adjudicate liens. The petition identified three lienholders: the hospital, " CACI," and Cape Radiology Group. The hospital was the only one of the three lienholders that appeared at the hearing on the petition. The trial court's order provided that no liens other than the hospital's lien had been properly served upon plaintiff and submitted to the court. It was stipulated that the amount of the hospital's lien was $2,891.64. In addition to attorney fees, plaintiff allegedly incurred

Page 1114

litigation costs of $846.66 in securing the ...


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