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.

Carroll v. Community Health Care Clinic, Inc.

Court of Appeals of Illinois, Fourth District

June 22, 2017

DAVID S. CARROLL, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
COMMUNITY HEALTH CARE CLINIC, INC.; PAUL PEDERSEN, M.D.; and SUE McGINNES, APN, Defendants-Appellees.

         Appeal from Circuit Court of McLean County No. 15L59. Honorable Rebecca S. Foley, Judge Presiding.

          PRESIDING JUSTICE TURNER delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices Pope and Knecht concurred in the judgment and opinion

          OPINION

          TURNER PRESIDING JUSTICE.

         ¶ 1 In April 2015, plaintiff, David S. Carroll, filed a medical malpractice complaint against defendants, Community Health Care Clinic, Inc. (Clinic), Paul Pedersen, M.D., and Sue McGinnes, APN. In June 2015, the Clinic filed a motion to dismiss plaintiff's complaint under section 2-619(a)(9) of the Code of Civil Procedure (Procedure Code) (735 ILCS 5/2-619(a)(9) (West 2014)), asserting it was immune from liability (1) as a free and charitable clinic under section 30 of the Good Samaritan Act (745 ILCS 49/30 (West 2004)) and section 31 of the Medical Practice Act of 1987 (Medical Practice Act) (225 ILCS 60/31 (West 2012)); and (2) because any action against it was derivative of plaintiff's action against Dr. Pedersen and McGinnes, who were immune from civil liability. The next month, Dr. Pedersen and McGinnes also filed a section 2-619 motion to dismiss, alleging they were both immune from liability under section 30 of the Good Samaritan Act and Dr. Pedersen was also immune under section 54.5(e) of the Medical Practice Act (225 ILCS 60/54.5(e) (West 2012)). After a September 2015 hearing, the McLean County circuit court granted the motions to dismiss with prejudice, finding (1) McGinnes was immune under the Good Samaritan Act, (2) Dr. Pedersen was immune under the Medical Practice Act, and (3) the Clinic itself was immune from liability under the Good Samaritan Act. Plaintiff appealed the court's dismissal of his medical malpractice action.

         ¶ 2 In May 2016, plaintiff filed a petition to vacate the circuit court's September 2015 order under section 2-1401 of the Procedure Code (735 ILCS 5/2-1401 (West 2014)), based on a previously unknown employee lease agreement (Lease Agreement) between the Clinic and OSF Healthcare System (OSF), which owns and operates St. Joseph Medical Center, Dr. Pedersen and McGinnes's employer. Plaintiff alleged McGinnes was, in fact, paid for her services to plaintiff through the lease agreement. After an August 2016 hearing, the circuit court denied plaintiff's section 2-1401 petition. Plaintiff appealed the denial of his petition to vacate. In September 2016, this court consolidated plaintiff's two appeals.

         ¶ 3 In this consolidated appeal, plaintiff argues (1) the Good Samaritan Act does not grant immunity to nonvolunteers like Dr. Pedersen and McGinnes, (2) Dr. Pedersen failed to show he was immune from liability under the Medical Practice Act, and (3) the Clinic is vicariously liable for Dr. Pedersen's and McGinnes's conduct because neither the Medical Practice Act nor the Good Samaritan Act directly provide the Clinic Immunity. We affirm.

         ¶ 4 I. BACKGROUND

         ¶ 5 Plaintiff's complaint alleged Dr. Pedersen and McGinnes (incorrectly spelled "McGinness" in the trial court pleadings), an advance practice nurse and licensed nurse practitioner, rendered medical services to him at the Clinic on March 13 and April 17, 2013. He also asserted Dr. Pedersen was required to supervise McGinnes when she rendered care and treatment. On May 20, 2013, plaintiff suffered a massive myocardial infarction. Plaintiff alleged Dr. Pedersen and McGinnes were professionally negligent because they negligently and carelessly failed to diagnose and recommend treatment for angina pectoris, coronary artery disease, and coronary insufficiency. As a direct and proximate cause of their negligent actions, plaintiff suffered a myocardial infarction, which caused damage to his heart and his body as a whole. Plaintiff alleged the Clinic was also liable as Dr. Pedersen and McGinnes were its agents, staff, and employees.

         ¶ 6 In July 2015, the Clinic filed a section 2-619(a)(9) motion to dismiss plaintiff's complaint, asserting it was immune from liability under section 30 of the Good Samaritan Act (745 ILCS 49/30 (West 2004)) and section 31 of the Medical Practice Act (225 ILCS 60/31 (West 2012)). It further argued that, even if it was not directly immune from liability under the aforementioned acts, it was immune because any action against it was derivative of plaintiff's actions against Dr. Pedersen and McGinnes, who were immune from liability. In support of its motion, the Clinic filed a memorandum, which included an affidavit of John Kim, president of the Clinic's board of directors. In his affidavit, Kim stated the Clinic provided free medical care to individuals who were unable to pay for medical care. Plaintiff received free medical care at the Clinic. Attached to Kim's affidavit was a copy of the sign posted in the Clinic notifying clients the healthcare workers were immune from liability under the Good Samaritan Act.

         ¶ 7 That same month, Dr. Pedersen and McGinnes filed a joint section 2-619(a)(9) motion to dismiss, first contending Dr. Pedersen was immune under section 54.5(e) of the Medical Practice Act (225 ILCS 60/54.5(e) (West 2012)) because he was only a collaborating physician for McGinnes at the time she provided services to plaintiff. The motion further argued McGinnes was immune from liability under section 30(a) of the Good Samaritan Act (745 ILCS 49/30(a) (West 2004)), noting she was in no way compensated by the Clinic for the medical care she provided to plaintiff. Attached to the motion to dismiss were the affidavits of Dr. Pedersen and McGinnes. In his affidavit, Dr. Pedersen testified he did not provide any medical services to plaintiff on March 13 and April 17, 2013, and did not assist McGinnes in any way with respect to the care she provided plaintiff on the dates at issue. He was only a collaborating physician for McGinnes. Additionally, he stated the patients at the Clinic were not charged for the medical care they received. In her affidavit, McGinnes stated Dr. Pedersen did not assist her in any way with respect to the medical care she provided plaintiff on the dates at issue. She also stated she did not receive a fee or compensation from the Clinic for the medical care she provided plaintiff.

         ¶ 8 Plaintiff filed responses, asserting defendants' arguments failed because they had not demonstrated they were not compensated by any source for the services provided to plaintiff at the Clinic, as required by the Good Samaritan Act, and Dr. Pedersen had failed to show he was not supervising McGinnes during her treatment of plaintiff. He further argued the plain language of the Good Samaritan Act granted immunity only to individuals and not to the free medical clinics themselves. Defendants filed replies disagreeing with plaintiff's arguments.

         ¶ 9 On September 29, 2015, the circuit court held a hearing on the motions to dismiss. After hearing the parties' arguments, the court first found the "from that source" language of section 30(a) of the Good Samaritan Act (745 ILCS 49/30(a) (West 2004)) referred to compensation from the free clinic itself. It was undisputed McGinnes was not paid by the Clinic. Thus, the court found she was immune from liability under the Good Samaritan Act. As to Dr. Pedersen, the court concluded it was undisputed he was not involved in any way in the care of plaintiff at the Clinic. Accordingly, the court found he was immune from liability as a collaborating physician under the Medical Practice Act. Last, the court found section 30(a) of the Good Samaritan Act (745 ILCS 49/30(a) (West 2004)) was not limited to individuals and the Clinic was directly immune from liability under the Good Samaritan Act. That same day, the court entered a written order, dismissing with prejudice the complaint against all three defendants.

         ¶ 10 On October 19, 2015, plaintiff filed a timely notice of appeal in sufficient compliance with Illinois Supreme Court Rule 303 (eff. Jan. 1, 2015), which is appellate court case No. 4-15-0847. Accordingly, this court has jurisdiction of defendant's appeal from the circuit court's September 2015 order under Illinois Supreme Court Rule 301 (eff. Feb. 1, 1994).

         ¶ 11 On May 26, 2016, plaintiff filed a petition to vacate the circuit court's September 2015 order under section 2-1401 of the Procedure Code. In the petition, plaintiff noted that, on April 4, 2016, he received notice of a June 20, 2002, Lease Agreement between OSF, as owner and operator of St. Joseph Medical Center, and the Clinic. Under the agreement, OSF (lessor) was to provide certain employees for the Clinic (lessee), including a nurse practitioner. As to compensation, the agreement provided the following: "Lessee shall pay to Lessor the productive salary and wages and non-productive wages paid by Lessor to the Leased Employees plus an amount equal to the cost of benefits provided by the Lessor to Leased Employees measured as a percentage of the average wage of the Leased Employees, rounded to the nearest percent ***." OSF was to give the Clinic an invoice at the end of every month for all leased employees who worked during the month. All leased employees were employees of OSF and not the Clinic. Plaintiff again argued Dr. Pedersen and McGinnes were not immune because they received compensation for their work at the Clinic. Plaintiff further contended ...


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.