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.

Foster v. Hillsboro Area Hospital, Inc.

Court of Appeals of Illinois, Fifth District

November 10, 2016

DANNY FOSTER and KATHLEEN FOSTER, Plaintiffs-Respondents,
v.
HILLSBORO AREA HOSPITAL, INC., LAUREL KIETZMAN, M.D., ARTHUR SIPPO, M.D., ARTHUR C. SIPPO, M.D., MPH, LLC, BRANDON WYNN, D.O., CLINICAL RADIOLOGISTS, S.C., BARBARA MULCH, M.D., SPRINGFIELD CLINIC, LLP, and ILLINOIS EMERGENCY PHYSICIANS, LLP, Defendants-Petitioners.

         Appeal from the Circuit Court of Madison County, No. 14-L-530; the Hon. William A. Mudge, Judge, presiding.

          Brad A. Elward, of Heyl, Royster, Voelker & Allen, of Peoria, and Richard K. Hunsaker and Ann C. Barron, of Heyl, Royster, Voelker & Allen, of Edwardsville, for petitioner Hillsboro Area Hospital, Inc.

          Kim Jansen, of Hinshaw & Culbertson, LLP, of Chicago, and Terese A. Drew, of Hinshaw & Culbertson, LLP, of St. Louis, Missouri, for petitioners Illinois Emergency Physicians, LLP, Laurel Kietzman, Arthur C. Sippo, M.D., MPH, LLC, and Arthur Sippo.

          Ted W. Dennis, of Freeark, Harvey & Mendillo, P.C., of Belleville, for petitioners Clinical Radiologists, S.C., and Brandon Wynn.

          James E. Neville and Derek J. Siegel, of Neville, Richards & Wuller, LLC, of Belleville, for other petitioners.

          Georgiann Oliver and Eric C. Young, of Joley, Oliver & Beasley, P.C., of Belleville, and Burton M. Greenberg, of St. Louis, Missouri, for respondents.

          JUSTICE CATES delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Presiding Justice Schwarm and Justice Goldenhersh concurred in the judgment and opinion.

          OPINION

          CATES, JUSTICE

         ¶ 1 The plaintiffs, Danny Foster and Kathleen Foster, brought a multi-count, medical negligence complaint in the circuit court of Madison County against the defendants, Hillsboro Area Hospital, Inc., Laurel Kietzman, M.D., Arthur Sippo, M.D., Arthur C. Sippo, M.D., MPH, LLC, Brandon Wynn, D.O., Clinical Radiologists, S.C., Barbara Mulch, M.D., Springfield Clinic, LLP, and Illinois Emergency Physicians, LLP. All defendants, except Dr. Wynn and Clinical Radiologists, S.C., moved to transfer the action to Montgomery County under the doctrine of intrastate forum non conveniens. Following a hearing, the circuit court denied the motions to transfer.

         ¶ 2 The defendants filed a petition for leave to appeal pursuant to Illinois Supreme Court Rule 306(a)(2) (eff. July 1, 2014). Initially, this court denied the petition. Thereafter, the Illinois Supreme Court issued a supervisory order directing this court to vacate its order and to consider the matter on the merits. Pursuant to the supervisory order, we vacated our previous order and allowed the defendants' petition. For reasons that follow, we affirm.

         ¶ 3 BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         ¶ 4 The Plaintiffs' Complaint

         ¶ 5 On April 4, 2014, the plaintiffs, Danny Foster and Kathleen Foster, filed a medical negligence complaint in the circuit court of Madison County. The following factual allegations are set forth in the complaint.

         ¶ 6 On June 22, 2012, Danny went to see his primary care physician, Dr. Barbara Mulch, at the Springfield Clinic in Hillsboro, Illinois. Danny complained of abdominal pain and cramping. Dr. Mulch conducted an evaluation and ordered an abdominal computerized tomography (CT) scan. The CT scan was performed on June 27, 2012, at the Hillsboro Area Hospital. Dr. Brandon Wynn, a radiologist employed by Clinical Radiologists, S.C., interpreted the scan and prepared a report of his findings. In his report, he did not mention whether a gastric ulcer was evident on the CT scan.

         ¶ 7 Danny continued to have abdominal symptoms, so he returned to Hillsboro Area Hospital on June 28, 2012. Danny was seen by Dr. Laurel Kietzman, the attending physician in the emergency department. Dr. Kietzman evaluated Danny, but she did not review his CT scan or order any other diagnostic tests. After conferring with Dr. Mulch, Dr. Kietzman discharged Danny. The next day, Danny saw Dr. Mulch at her office in Hillsboro. Dr. Mulch did not order any additional tests and did not diagnose Danny's gastric ulcer during that visit. Throughout the next two weeks, Danny's abdominal pain "continued and intensified." On July 9, 2012, Danny returned to the emergency department at Hillsboro Area Hospital. Danny was evaluated by Dr. Arthur Sippo. Dr. Sippo discharged Danny without conferring with Dr. Mulch, without reviewing the CT scan, and without ordering additional diagnostic testing.

         ¶ 8 On July 10, 2012, Danny presented to the emergency department at St. Francis Hospital in Litchfield, Illinois, with continuing complaints of abdominal pain. A CT scan of Danny's abdomen revealed a large, perforated gastric ulcer. Danny was immediately transferred by helicopter to St. John's Hospital in Springfield, Illinois. Danny underwent surgery, and he remained hospitalized at St. John's Hospital for an extended period of time.

         ¶ 9 The complaint alleges that the defendants failed to diagnose and properly treat Danny's gastric ulcer and that Danny suffered permanent injuries and damages as a direct and proximate result of the various negligent acts or omissions of the defendants. The complaint also includes a claim on behalf of Danny's wife, Kathleen, for loss of consortium.

         ¶ 10 Forum Non Conveniens Motions

         ¶ 11 On May 12, 2012, Dr. Mulch and Springfield Clinic filed a motion, with attachments, to transfer the case from Madison County to Montgomery County based on the doctrine of forum non conveniens. Ultimately, each of the defendants, except Dr. Wynn and Clinical Radiologists, S.C., either filed a motion to transfer, or joined in the motion filed by Dr. Mulch and Springfield Clinic. The moving defendants argued that Montgomery County was a more convenient forum for the litigation because the events giving rise to the action occurred in Montgomery County and because most of the defendants and witnesses resided in or near Montgomery County. They also argued that the plaintiffs' choice of forum was entitled to little or no deference because it was neither the plaintiffs' home forum, nor the forum where the cause of action arose. Some of the defendants filed affidavits in support of their respective motions to transfer. In addition, several defendants filed answers to forum interrogatories propounded by the plaintiffs.

         ¶ 12 The plaintiff filed responses in opposition to the motions to transfer and attached supporting documents, including discovery responses from the defendants. The plaintiffs argued that the moving defendants failed to meet their respective burdens to show that the plaintiffs' chosen forum was inconvenient for that defendant and that another forum would be more convenient for all parties. The plaintiffs further argued that the defendants failed to show that ...


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.