443 N.E.2d 626 (Ill.App. 1 Dist. 1982), 81-1703, Neuman v. City of Chicago

Docket Nº:81-1703.
Citation:443 N.E.2d 626, 110 Ill.App.3d 907, 66 Ill.Dec. 700
Party Name:George NEUMAN, as Administrator of the Estate of John J. Neuman, Deceased, Plaintiff, v. CITY OF CHICAGO, a municipal corporation, Philip Onesto, William Sims and Northwest Hospital, a corporation, Defendants, CITY OF CHICAGO, a municipal corporation, Philip Onesto and William Sims, Counter-Plaintiffs, Appellants, v. NORTHWEST HOSPITAL, Counter-Def
Case Date:November 30, 1982
Court:Court of Appeals of Illinois
 
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Page 626

443 N.E.2d 626 (Ill.App. 1 Dist. 1982)

110 Ill.App.3d 907, 66 Ill.Dec. 700

George NEUMAN, as Administrator of the Estate of John J.

Neuman, Deceased, Plaintiff,

v.

CITY OF CHICAGO, a municipal corporation, Philip Onesto,

William Sims and Northwest Hospital, a

corporation, Defendants,

CITY OF CHICAGO, a municipal corporation, Philip Onesto and

William Sims, Counter-Plaintiffs, Appellants,

v.

NORTHWEST HOSPITAL, Counter-Defendant, Appellee.

No. 81-1703.

Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, Second Division.

November 30, 1982.

Page 627

[66 Ill.Dec. 701] Stanley Garber, Corp. Counsel of the City of Chicago by Peter Fitzpatrick, Sp. Asst. Corp. Counsel, Chicago (Richard F. Lee, Chicago, of counsel), for counter-plaintiffs, appellants.

Hinshaw, Culbertson, Moelman, Hoban & Fuller, Chicago (Stanley J. Davidson, E. Michael Kelly and John G. Langhenry, Jr., Chicago, of counsel), for counter-defendant, appellee.

[110 Ill.App.3d 908] HARTMAN, Justice:

The principal issue presented by this appeal is whether defendant, counter-defendant Northwest Hospital " * * * is responsible for the consequences of * * * [its] own wrong, and if * * * [defendant, counter-plaintiff City of Chicago is] compelled to pay damages which ought to have been paid by the * * * [Hospital, the City] may recover from * * * [it]." Gertz v. Campbell (1973), 55 Ill.2d 84, 90, 302 N.E.2d 40.

For the reasons hereinafter set forth, we reverse and remand the cause.

On October 14, 1977, plaintiff, George Neuman, administrator of the Estate of John J. Neuman, Deceased, initiated a three count wrongful death action against the City, two City police officers, Philip Onesto and William Sims (collectively "City"), and the Hospital. Count I was directed against the City and alleged that decedent was handcuffed, arrested, and apprehended by

Page 628

[66 Ill.Dec. 702] the named officers. The officers, while acting within the scope of their duty as agents of the City, allegedly committed wanton acts of violence in that they: shot the deceased when they knew or should have known that it was totally unnecessary because he was handcuffed; used a gun which contained bullets that had been doctored and altered and thereby intended to inflict excessive destructive injury; and exercised unnecessary violence in shooting the deceased, showing a total disregard for the safety and care of the public. The City was charged further with having failed to discharge Onesto from the police force after having been repeatedly notified of his vicious propensities and the likelihood of inflicting unnecessary and excessive violence on members of the public. Finally, count I alleges that defendants' shooting of the plaintiff's intestate ultimately caused or contributed to his death at the Hospital.

Count II was directed against the Hospital, to which decedent was brought for emergency treatment. In essence, the Hospital was charged with having committed eight specified negligent acts or omissions in connection with the failure to give decedent necessary blood transfusions and other medical care which resulted in his death. Count III repeated the same allegations of medical malpractice asserted in count II but added that these acts were committed "wantonly." Count II prayed for, inter alia, $500,000 in pecuniary damages and punitive damages of $1,000,000. Count III prayed for $1,000,000 in punitive damages.

The Hospital successfully moved to strike the prayers for punitive damages from counts II and III of the complaint on October 15, 1979, and the circuit court ordered that the judgment would not prejudice [110 Ill.App.3d 909] plaintiff's prayer for compensatory damages.

On March 14, 1981, the City filed a counterclaim against the Hospital, incorporating by reference, inter alia, the same allegations of negligence and wanton misconduct set forth in paragraph 2 of counts II and III, respectively, of the underlying complaint. The counterclaim further alleged that: the specified negligent and wilful acts or omissions alleged against the agents and servants of the Hospital were not committed in concert with the City; the City did not control the activities of the Hospital in connection with these acts; and, but for the Hospital's negligent and wilful acts or omissions, decedent would have recovered from his injuries.

The Hospital moved to dismiss the counterclaim, principally on the basis that the City may not seek equitable apportionment of damages because it was charged with...

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