Dwyer & Coogan Attorney Patrick E. Dwyer III — Successful Supreme Court Brief


| Jim Coogan

On January 26, 2016, the Illinois Supreme Court issued its opinion in the case of Klaine v. Southern Illinois Hospital Services(http://www.illinoiscourts.gov/Opinions/SupremeCourt/2016/118217.pdf).  In that case, Carol and Keith Klaine sued their doctor and Southern Illinois Medical Services (the hospital where the doctor performed the medical treatment) for medical negligence causing them personal injuries.  One of the claims was against the hospital was that it was negligent in the manner in which they granted treatment “privileges” to the Defendant doctor.  Hospitals follow protocols before allowing doctors to examine, treat, or perform surgery on patients within their facilities.  The Supreme Court affirmed the Appellate Court’s decision that the Defendant hospital was required by law to turn over the documents.

As part of the Discovery process where the Plaintiff asks for medical records and other documents in the possession of the Hospital, the Plaintiff requested the applications that the doctor submitted to the hospital to request privileges to treat patients there.  This information would help determine whether or not the Defendant doctor should have been allowed to treat patients at St. Joseph Memorial Hospital & Memorial Hospital of Carbondale.  The Plaintiffs had alleged that the doctor should not have been allowed to treat patients at the hospitals, and if the hospital had properly vetted him, he would not have had the opportunity to commit the acts of negligence that caused injuries to the Klaines.

As a member of the Illinois Trial Lawyer Association, Patrick E. Dwyer III serves on the Amicus Committee.  This group of ITLA Trial Lawyers focuses specifically on writing and submitting written arguments or “amicus curiae” (friend of the court) briefs to support appeals on the side of injured individuals.  Patrick was the principal author of ITLA’s brief to the Illinois Supreme Court.  In this case, no less than five hospital and physician groups submitted amicus briefs supporting the Defendant hospital.  ITLA’s brief was the only supporting brief on behalf of the injured Plaintiffs.

The Hospital cited a variety of State and Federal laws that it argued allowed it to claim “privilege” over the disputed documents.  The Supreme Court decided that none of the laws cited by the Defendant hospital justified keeping the documents secret and out of Discovery in the case.  This decision is a significant victory for civil justice in the State of Illinois, standing for the rights of victims to have access to documents that a hospital would otherwise prefer not see the light of day.  Rather, Illinois Courts will continue to demand that even multi-million dollar hospital systems must play by the same rules as everyone else and must turn over relevant documents when a doctor’s treatment comes into question.  We applaud Patrick for his commitment to ITLA and the cause of civil justice on behalf of injured Plaintiffs and are proud that he is a part of Dwyer & Coogan

On January 26, 2016, the Illinois Supreme Court issued its opinion in the case of Klaine v. Southern Illinois Hospital Services(http://www.illinoiscourts.gov/Opinions/SupremeCourt/2016/118217.pdf).  In that case, Carol and Keith Klaine sued their doctor and Southern Illinois Medical Services (the hospital where the doctor performed the medical treatment) for medical negligence causing them personal injuries.  One of the claims was against the hospital was that it was negligent in the manner in which they granted treatment “privileges” to the Defendant doctor.  Hospitals follow protocols before allowing doctors to examine, treat, or perform surgery on patients within their facilities.  The Supreme Court affirmed the Appellate Court’s decision that the Defendant hospital was required by law to turn over the documents.

As part of the Discovery process where the Plaintiff asks for medical records and other documents in the possession of the Hospital, the Plaintiff requested the applications that the doctor submitted to the hospital to request privileges to treat patients there.  This information would help determine whether or not the Defendant doctor should have been allowed to treat patients at St. Joseph Memorial Hospital & Memorial Hospital of Carbondale.  The Plaintiffs had alleged that the doctor should not have been allowed to treat patients at the hospitals, and if the hospital had properly vetted him, he would not have had the opportunity to commit the acts of negligence that caused injuries to the Klaines.

As a member of the Illinois Trial Lawyer Association, Patrick E. Dwyer III serves on the Amicus Committee.  This group of ITLA Trial Lawyers focuses specifically on writing and submitting written arguments or “amicus curiae” (friend of the court) briefs to support appeals on the side of injured individuals.  Patrick was the principal author of ITLA’s brief to the Illinois Supreme Court.  In this case, no less than five hospital and physician groups submitted amicus briefs supporting the Defendant hospital.  ITLA’s brief was the only supporting brief on behalf of the injured Plaintiffs.

The Hospital cited a variety of State and Federal laws that it argued allowed it to claim “privilege” over the disputed documents.  The Supreme Court decided that none of the laws cited by the Defendant hospital justified keeping the documents secret and out of Discovery in the case.  This decision is a significant victory for civil justice in the State of Illinois, standing for the rights of victims to have access to documents that a hospital would otherwise prefer not see the light of day.  Rather, Illinois Courts will continue to demand that even multi-million dollar hospital systems must play by the same rules as everyone else and must turn over relevant documents when a doctor’s treatment comes into question.  We applaud Patrick for his commitment to ITLA and the cause of civil justice on behalf of injured Plaintiffs and are proud that he is a part of Dwyer & Coogan

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      Life has many surprises, some of which are not pleasant and many time almost tragic. My 95 year-old Mother and I were involved in a very serious car accident, in which my car was totaled. We were ambulanced to the hospital in serious condition. Life also presents us with many important decisions, which could be life altering. I contacted Jim Coogan…

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      Life has many surprises, some of which are not pleasant and many time almost tragic. My 95 year-old Mother and I were involved in a very serious car accident, in which my car was totaled. We were ambulanced to the hospital in serious condition. Life also presents us with many important decisions, which could be life altering. I contacted Jim Coogan…

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