Illinois Supreme Court Reinstates Medical Malpractice Defense Verdict

The Supreme Court of the State of Illinois (“Illinois Supreme Court”) held in its November 18, 2021 opinion in an Illinois medical malpractice wrongful death action arising out of the treatment a decedent received in the defendant hospital: “we conclude that the circuit court did not abuse its discretion or deny plaintiff a fair trial when it refused to issue a nonpattern jury instruction on loss of chance in this case. As the appellate court correctly concluded in Sinclair, when a jury is instructed on proximate cause through a pattern jury instruction, “[t]he lost chance doctrine, as a form of proximate cause, [is] encompassed within the instruction given to the jury,” and the circuit court’s refusal to give a separate nonpattern instruction on loss of chance does not deny the plaintiff a fair trial.”

Plaintiff’s Informed Consent Instruction Request

The Illinois Supreme Court further stated: “We agree with defendants that the circuit court properly determined that a pattern jury instruction on informed consent was not required in this case. Illinois law recognizes “four essential elements a plaintiff must prove in a malpractice action based upon the doctrine of informed consent: ‘(1) the physician had a duty to disclose material risks; (2) he failed to disclose or inadequately disclosed those risks; (3) as a direct and proximate result of the failure to disclose, the patient consented to treatment she otherwise would not have consented to; and (4) plaintiff was injured by the proposed treatment.’”

The Illinois Supreme Court held: “Here, plaintiff has never alleged or presented any evidence on the third and fourth elements of an informed consent claim—that Jill consented to medical treatment without being adequately informed and that the treatment injured her. Similarly, plaintiff’s proposed jury instruction did not identify any treatment Jill received or any injury she received from that treatment. Instead, plaintiff effectively advances an inverse theory of informed consent by arguing that defendants are liable for not performing additional medical treatment on Jill before she left the hospital. Plaintiff cites no authority recognizing those allegations as a legally valid claim under the doctrine of informed consent … plaintiff did not allege or present evidence supporting a claim of lack of informed consent. Accordingly, we conclude that the circuit court did not abuse its discretion or deny plaintiff a fair trial when it refused to issue her proposed instruction on informed consent.”

The Illinois Supreme Court therefore affirmed the circuit court judgment entered for the defendant, and affirmed in part and reversed in part the Illinois Appellate Court judgment.

Source Bailey v. Mercy Hospital and Medical Center, 2021 IL 126748.

If you or a loved one may have been injured (or worse) as a result of hospital negligence in Illinois or in another U.S. state, you should promptly find an Illinois medical malpractice lawyer, or a medical malpractice lawyer in your state, who may investigate your hospital malpractice claim for you and represent you or your loved one in a hospital malpractice case, if appropriate.

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This entry was posted on Sunday, January 2nd, 2022 at 5:21 am. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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