Stuckey v. Renaissance at Midway

CourtUnited States Appellate Court of Illinois
Citation45 N.E.3d 1151
Docket NumberNo. 1–14–3111.,1–14–3111.
PartiesJohnnie STUCKEY, as Attorney–in–Fact for Robert Holman, Plaintiff–Appellee, v. The RENAISSANCE AT MIDWAY, an Illinois Corporation d/b/a The Renaissance at Midway, Nucare Services Corp., an Illinois Corporation, Clinical Consulting Solutions, LLC, an Illinois Limited Liability Company, and Quest Services Corp., an Illinois Corporation, Defendants–Appellants (Rodd E. Elges and Clausen and Miller, P.C., Contemnors–Appellants).
Decision Date18 December 2015

45 N.E.3d 1151

Johnnie STUCKEY, as Attorney–in–Fact for Robert Holman, Plaintiff–Appellee
v.
The RENAISSANCE AT MIDWAY, an Illinois Corporation d/b/a The Renaissance at Midway, Nucare Services Corp., an Illinois Corporation, Clinical Consulting Solutions, LLC, an Illinois Limited Liability Company, and Quest Services Corp., an Illinois Corporation, Defendants–Appellants (Rodd E. Elges and Clausen and Miller, P.C., Contemnors–Appellants).

No. 1–14–3111.

Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, Sixth Division.

Dec. 18, 2015.


45 N.E.3d 1152

Clausen Miller P.C., Chicago (Edward M. Kay, Melinda S. Kollross, Rodd E. Elges, and Mark J. Sobczak, of counsel), for appellants.

Levin & Perconti (Michael F. Bonamarte, of counsel), and Leslie J. Rosen Attorney at Law P.C. (Leslie J. Rosen, of counsel), Chicago, for appellee.

OPINION

Presiding Justice ROCHFORD delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion.

¶ 1 Plaintiff-appellee, Johnnie Stuckey, as attorney-in-fact for Robert Holman, filed the instant personal injury action against defendants-appellants, The Renaissance

45 N.E.3d 1153

at Midway, Inc., an Illinois corporation; Nucare Services Corporation, an Illinois corporation; Clinical Consulting Solutions, LLC, f/k/a Clinical Consulting Services, LLC, an Illinois limited liability company; and Quest Services Corporation, an Illinois corporation.1 Plaintiff sought to recover for damages allegedly incurred by Mr. Holman when, while he was a resident at a long-term care facility owned, operated, and/or managed by defendants, he was physically assaulted by another resident.

¶ 2 This appeal was filed after the circuit court granted, in part, plaintiff's motion to compel regarding plaintiff's discovery requests, conducted an in camera review, ordered defendants to produce certain partially redacted records regarding the resident who assaulted Mr. Holman, and found defense counsel in “friendly contempt” for counsel's refusal to produce those records. For the following reasons, the circuit court's discovery orders are reversed and its order finding defense counsel in “friendly contempt” and imposing a fine for the refusal to comply with those discovery orders is vacated.

¶ 3 I. BACKGROUND

¶ 4 Plaintiff, Mr. Holman's sister and attorney-in-fact, filed the instant lawsuit on January 17, 2013. In the complaint, it was alleged that in January of 2011, Mr. Holman—born on June 12, 1933—was a resident at a long-term care facility known as The Renaissance at Midway (Renaissance) in Chicago. Defendants were alleged to be the owners, operators, and/or managers of Renaissance. On or about January 22, 2011, Mr. Holman was physically assaulted by another resident, allegedly causing his left eye to suffer hyphema, a fracture and globe rupture, and a reduction of vision. The complaint sought to recover for Mr. Holman's injuries, asserting various violations of the Nursing Home Care Act (the Act) (210 ILCS 45/1–101 et seq. (West 2010)), and acts of negligence against defendants. The other resident was not named a defendant in the complaint.

¶ 5 The record reflects that, prior to filing suit, a complaint regarding the incident involving Mr. Holman was filed by plaintiff with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). On or about April 13, 2012, the IDPH concluded its investigation and found that the Renaissance was in violation of certain provisions of the Act. Factual findings attached to the IDPH report, based upon an interview and a review of Renaissance's records, asserted that Mr. Holman and the other resident (referred to as “R10” by the IDPH, but hereinafter referred to as “John Doe”) were roommates at Renaissance. In addition to the incident involving Mr. Holman on January 22, 2011, the IDPH's investigation indicated that John Doe, suffering from Alzheimer's disease, “became physically aggressive toward staff and pushed staff on [a] bed” on January 6, 2011. On February 23, 2012, John Doe was described as being “severely demented.”

¶ 6 In light of the IDPH findings, plaintiff propounded written discovery requests upon defendants seeking information regarding John Doe. While the written discovery requests themselves are not contained in the record on appeal, the remainder of the record makes clear that: “[p]laintiff requested in interrogatory fourteen (14) information regarding the resident who assaulted Robert Holman, including his name, address, social security number, whether a criminal background check had been completed on him and whether there were any prior incidents

45 N.E.3d 1154

of aggression between this resident and any other residents or employees of the Defendant facility.” In addition: “ [p]laintiff also requested in interrogatory seventeen (17) [to know] whether any complaints were ever made about the conduct of the other resident involved in the January 22, 2011, incident with Robert Holman.” Renaissance refused to respond to these discovery requests, asserting that they sought medical information that Renaissance was precluded from disclosing pursuant to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) (42 U.S.C. § 1320d et seq. (2012) ).

¶ 7 Plaintiff, thereafter, filed a motion to compel and for an in camera inspection. In her motion, plaintiff contended that none of the information requested in interrogatories 14 and 17 constituted medical information and that a qualified protective order could be entered to protect John Doe's privacy. Plaintiff further contended that an in-camera inspection of John Doe's medical records would ensure that any information Plaintiff receives would be relevant to the case at hand, and any medical information contained in said records could be redacted in compliance with HIPAA.” Plaintiff, therefore, requested that “the nursing home chart of John Doe be produced under a qualified protective order for in-camera inspection.”

¶ 8 Renaissance filed a written response to plaintiff's motion, wherein it contended that plaintiff “clearly seeks the production of information and documentation” protected by HIPAA, the physician-patient privilege (735 ILCS 5/8–802 (West 2014) ), and the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Confidentiality Act (Confidentiality Act) (740 ILCS 110/1 et seq. (West 2014)). Renaissance rejected plaintiff's contention that no medical information had been requested, noting that plaintiff sought the production of John Doe's entire nursing home chart. Renaissance therefore asked the circuit court to deny plaintiff's motion to compel, as the “applicable statutes and relevant Illinois case law clearly establish that Defendant cannot produce information or documentation relevant to John Doe's care and treatment at the Defendant's facility, let alone his entire nursing home chart, as requested by Plaintiff.”

¶ 9 Plaintiff filed a written reply, wherein she contended that neither the physician-patient privilege nor the Confidentiality Act was applicable to this matter, and that HIPAA allowed for production of John Doe's nursing home chart under a qualified protective order. Plaintiff did not assert that any exception to the Confidentiality Act authorized such disclosure.

¶ 10 A hearing on plaintiff's motion was held on May 28, 2014. At that hearing, defense counsel indicated that both Mr. Holman and John Doe were residents of Renaissance's dementia unit. Defense counsel further indicated his understanding that, while plaintiff might be entitled to John Doe's name and last known address under Illinois law, plaintiff was not entitled to John Doe's actual medical and nursing records. Plaintiff indicated that she was not interested in obtaining John Doe's actual name or other identifying information. Rather, plaintiff indicated that she sought only information regarding John Doe's history of aggressive behavior. Thus, plaintiff stated that she would have no objection to the redaction of identifying information from any produced records, following the circuit court's in camera inspection. Following the hearing, the circuit court entered an order, over defendant's objection, requiring Renaissance to produce John Doe's records to defense counsel and requiring defense counsel to produce those records to the circuit court for an in camera inspection, along with any proposed redactions.

45 N.E.3d 1155

¶ 11 Renaissance filed a motion to reconsider the circuit court's order, contending that the circuit court had misapplied Illinois law in requiring an in camera inspection of the records. Alternatively, Renaissance asked the circuit court to enter a protective order with respect to those records and to provide John Doe and/or his legal representative both notice of the possible disclosure of the records and an opportunity to object to any disclosure, pursuant to HIPAA. In an order entered on July 14, 2014, the circuit court denied the former request and granted the latter.

¶ 12 This matter, again, came before the circuit court on September 11, 2014. On that date, defense counsel stated that John Doe's daughter, who had held a power of attorney, had been previously contacted. While she reportedly objected to the disclosure of John Doe's records, she was not willing to become further involved or to memorialize her objections in...

To continue reading

Request your trial
4 cases
  • Thompson v. N.J., 1–14–2918.
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • April 29, 2016
    ...(issues not raised in the trial court are forfeited); Stuckey v. Renaissance at Midway, 2015 IL App (1st) 143111, ¶ 30, 399 Ill.Dec. 161, 45 N.E.3d 1151 (finding it would be improper to address an argument raised for the first time on appeal)). “The purpose of this court's forfeiture rules ......
  • Trapani Constr. Co. v. Elliot Grp., Inc., 1–14–3734.
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • September 23, 2016
    ...in forfeiture of that issue on appeal.’ " Stuckey v. The Renaissance at Midway, 2015 IL App (1st) 143111, ¶ 30, 399 Ill.Dec. 161, 45 N.E.3d 1151 (quoting In re E.F., 2014 IL App (3d) 130814, ¶ 42, 384 Ill.Dec. 664, 17 N.E.3d 237 ).¶ 56 Our review of the record indicates defendant did not ra......
  • Reed v. Getco, LLC, 1–15–1801.
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • September 30, 2016
    ...not raise such an argument before the trial court. Stuckey v. Renaissance at Midway, 2015 IL App (1st) 143111, ¶ 30, 399 Ill.Dec. 161, 45 N.E.3d 1151 (an issue that was not raised in the trial court results in forfeiture of that issue on appeal). However, after having reviewed defendant's b......
  • Of v. Howe, 1–17–0611
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • December 29, 2017
    ...not raised in the trial court are forfeited); Stuckey v. Renaissance at Midway, Inc. , 2015 IL App (1st) 143111, ¶ 30, 399 Ill.Dec. 161, 45 N.E.3d 1151 (finding it would be improper to address an argument raised for the first time on appeal)). "The purpose of this court's forfeiture rules i......

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT