Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, Fifth Division
23 order filed June 30, 2016
23 order withdrawn August 15, 2016
from the Circuit Court of Cook County, No. 11-CH-38827; the
Hon. John C. Griffin, Judge, presiding.
Wiggins, Jr., and Caren Schulman, both of Chicago, for
& Cook, L.L.C., of Chicago (Guy M. Conti and Mark B.
Ruda, of counsel), for appellee.
JUSTICE LAMPKIN delivered the judgment of the court, with
opinion. Presiding Justice Reyes and Justice Gordon concurred
in the judgment and opinion.
1 Defendant, Vanity Mack, appeals a number of circuit court
orders, which ultimately barred an underinsured motorist
(UIM) claim she had initiated against plaintiff, Allstate
Insurance Company. Plaintiff filed the underlying declaratory
judgment in the circuit court, seeking a declaration that
defendant breached the parties' contract by refusing to
provide executed Health Insurance Portability and Accounting
Act (HIPAA) authorization forms and to submit to an oral
examination under oath. The circuit court granted summary
judgment in favor of plaintiff and against defendant and
denied defendant's requests for reconsideration of those
decisions. On appeal, defendant contends that the rules of
the American Arbitration Act (AAA) precluded her from
complying with plaintiff's discovery requests because she
already had demanded arbitration proceedings. Based on the
following, we affirm.
3 On October 26, 2010, defendant submitted a UIM claim to
plaintiff and also filed a demand for arbitration with the
AAA. In response, on December 7, 2010, plaintiff advised
defendant to provide executed HIPAA authorizations and to
appear for an oral examination under oath pursuant to the
terms of the parties' insurance policy. Defendant
concedes that she failed to comply with plaintiff's
requests and additionally concedes that she failed to comply
with plaintiff's subsequent repeated requests to do so.
In its subsequent declaratory judgment action, plaintiff
alleged defendant breached the parties' insurance
contract where she failed to comply with the terms of the
policy and, therefore, was barred from pursuing her UIM
claim. In response, defendant filed a motion to dismiss,
which was denied, and later filed a motion for summary
judgment-both times arguing that the rules of the AAA
regarding discovery superseded the requirements of her
insurance policy; therefore, she was under no obligation to
comply with plaintiff's discovery requests.
Defendant's motion for summary judgment was denied, as
was her motion to reconsider that finding. Plaintiff then
filed a motion for summary judgment. The circuit court
granted plaintiff's motion for summary judgment and
denied defendant's motion to reconsider that finding.
Defendant timely appealed.
5 On appeal, defendant maintains that the rules of the AAA
governed the adjudication of the underlying insurance claim
once she requested arbitration. More specifically, defendant
argues that, because she simultaneously instituted
arbitration proceedings when she submitted her UIM claim,
only the arbitrator had the authority to order discovery
pursuant to the AAA rules, not plaintiff. Defendant,
therefore, insists that she was not obligated to comply with
plaintiff's discovery requests. However, contrary to
defendant's argument, the issue on appeal is not a
discovery dispute per se. Rather, the issue is
whether defendant was in breach of the parties' contract
by failing to accommodate plaintiff's requests to provide
executed HIPAA authorizations and to appear for an
examination under oath.
6 Summary judgment is proper and should be granted
"without delay if the pleadings, depositions, and
admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any,
show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact
and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a
matter of law." 735 ILCS 5/2-1005(c) (West 2010). When
the parties filed cross-motions for summary judgment, they
conceded that there were no genuine issues of material fact
and invited the court to decide the questions presented as a
matter of law. American Family Mutual Insurance Co. v.
Niebuhr, 369 Ill.App.3d 517, 522 (2006). We review an
order granting summary judgment de novo. Bohner
v. Ace American Insurance Co., 359 Ill.App.3d 621, 623