Zeigler v. Illinoistrust & Sav. Bank

CourtSupreme Court of Illinois
Writing for the CourtCOOKE
Citation91 N.E. 1041,245 Ill. 180
PartiesZEIGLER v. ILLINOISTRUST & SAVINGS BANK.
Decision Date08 June 1910

245 Ill. 180
91 N.E. 1041

ZEIGLER
v.
ILLINOISTRUST & SAVINGS BANK.

Supreme Court of Illinois.

April 21, 1910.
Rehearing Denied June 8, 1910.


Appeal from Appellate Court, First District, on Appeal from Circuit Court, Cook County; R. S. Tuthill, Judge.

Proceedings by Lord Clarence H. E. Zeigler to establish a claim against the estate of Harriet G. McVicker, deceased. From a judgment of the Appellate Court rendered on the appeal of Illinois Trust & Savings Bank, executor, reversing a judgment of the circuit court allowing the claim, claimant appeals. Judgment of Appellate Court reversed, and judgment of circuit court affirmed.


[245 Ill. 182]

[91 N.E. 1042]

Bulkley, Gray & More, for appellant.

245 Ill. 183]James C. Hutchins and Max Baird (L. D. Condee and L. R. Atkins, of counsel), for appellee.
[245 Ill. 185]COOKE, J.

The appellant, Dr. L. C. H. E. Zeigler, filed a claim in the probate court of Cook county against the estate of Harriet G. McVicker for $110,000, which consisted of three items, the first being for $100,000, based on two written contracts or, in the alternative, for reasonable compensation as a physician for services and medical attention from December 19, 1899, to April 30, 1904, and the second and third for $5,000 each claimed to be due on an oral contract. The probate court allowed the second and third items,

[91 N.E. 1043

but refused to allow the first. The appropriate order was entered, from which both the executor and the claimant appealed to the circuit court. There the two appeals were consolidated and tried as one before a jury. The jury returned a verdict for the claimant for $100,000. The court entered judgment for this amount and for costs, to be paid in due course of administration. From this judgment the executor appealed to the Appellate Court for the First district, where the judgment of the circuit court was reversed, with a finding of fact that ‘the contracts in evidence of December 19, 1899, and of July 24, 1901, are void, as being against sound public policy.’ From this judgment the claimant has prosecuted a further appeal to this court.

[245 Ill. 186]The facts as disclosed on the trial in the circuit court are as follows: The appellant is a physician and surgeon and was licensed to practice medicine in this state on January 17, 1899. He is also engaged in the practice of osteopathy. On April 24, 1899, he leased three rooms in the McVicker Theatre building, in the city of Chicago, from Mrs. Harriet G. McVicker, which, so far as the evidence discloses, was the first time he had ever met her. These rooms, which adjoined a room used by Mrs. McVicker as an office, were used by Dr. Zeigler as his office. Mrs. McVicker's exact age is not given, but it appears that at that time she was about 78 or 79 years of age. She had been a sufferer from various maladies, among them being ailments of the heart, stomach, and kidneys, an affliction which caused a stiffness of the knee joints and some disease peculiar to her sex. She employed Dr. Zeigler, and he began treating her some time during the month of October, 1899. Shortly thereafter one John Janes, now deceased, who was a friend of many years' standing of Mrs. McVicker, presented to appellant, on her behalf, a contract executed by her, whereby appellant was to be paid out of her estate, after her death, the sum of $100,000, in 10 equal annual installments in consideration of appellant giving her such medical attention as she should require during the remainder of her lifetime. Appellant objected to the installment plan of payment and to other features of the instrument, and refused to execute or accept it. On December 19, 1899, appellant and Mrs. McVicker executed a contract, which provided that appellant should give her such medical attention as she should require during her lifetime and at her death should be paid the sum of $100,000 out of her estate. This was executed by Mrs. McVicker by the name of ‘Mrs. J. H. McVicker.’ Some time thereafter Dr. Zeigler was advised to have the contract re-executed, on account of the fact that Mrs. McVicker, in executing it, had used the initials of her deceased [245 Ill. 187]husband instead of her own name. Mrs. McVicker agreed to do this. On July 17, 1901, she sent for Rev. William F. Black, who had been a friend of her husband in his lifetime and whose custom it was to make weekly calls on Mrs. McVicker, to consult with his about the contract. John Janes was the only other person present on this occasion. Rev. Black gave it as his opinion that the contract was properly executed as it was, but Janes advised the change. Mrs. McVicker insisted upon the writing of a preamble to the re-written contract, explaining her reasons for executing it anew. This she dictated to Janes, who took it down. This was later returned to Mrs. McVicker by Janes and a comparison made with the original contract. Appellant was not present on these two occasions. A typewritten copy was then made of the new contract, and the same was executed by Mrs. McVicker and the appellant in the room of the former at the Lexington Hotel on July 24, 1901, in the presence of Mr. and Mrs. Emil Linder, friends of both appellant and Mrs. McVicker, who had been invited by her to come there for that purpose. With the exception of the explanatory part, this contract was identical in language with the contract of December 19, 1899, and is as follows:

‘Chicago, Illinois, July 24th, 1901.

‘This agreement or contract by and between Mrs. Harriet G. McVicker of Chicago, Ill., of the first part, and L. C. H. E. Zeigler, M. D., of Chicago, Ill., of the second part, witnesseth: That the first party, Mrs. Harriet G. McVicker, first entered into this agreement or contract with Dr. Zeigler, party of the second part, on the 19th day of December, eighteen hundred and ninety-nine (Dec. 19th, 1899). The original contract will be found hereto attached. A second contract was thought to be necessary because of the signature of the first and original contract being signed Mrs. J. H. McVicker instead of Mrs. Harriet G. McVicker. That the party of the second part having been advised to have the signature changed from Mrs. J. H. McVicker to Mrs. Harriet G. McVicker, presented the first and original instrument to the party of the first part, Mrs. Harriet G. McVicker, for the purpose of getting her consent in its being changed. On being apprised of the possibility of some legal [245 Ill. 188]technicality, Mrs. Harriet G. McVicker, party of the first part, immediately acquiesced and caused this the second contract to be drawn, which contains the material and relevant clauses of the first and original contract drawn December 19th, 1899; that the party of the first part, Mrs. Harriet G. McVicker, being aware that some unscrupulous persons have conspired to ruin the doctor's good reputation and business, willingly and unhesitatingly causes the change in signature; that the party of the first part, Mrs. Harriet G. McVicker, was necessitated to have Hon. William E. Hughes to call at her home and investigate the legal aspect of the terrible and cruel conspiracy against Dr. Zeigler, led by Mr. L. D. Condee, Miss Jennie Boydston, Mrs. William Cox, Mr.

[91 N.E. 1044]

George Graves, Mrs. Mack, with an eye singled to have Mrs. Harriet G. McVicker, party of the first part, to discontinue the services of the party of the second part, L. C. H. E. Zeigler, M. D.; that the party of the first part, Mrs. Harriet G. McVicker, had letters presented to her purporting to be from certain individuals, which, when thoroughly scrutinized and their contents carefully questioned of Mr. L. D. Condee by Hon. William E. Hughes, it was deduced by Mr. Condee's own confession that they had been forged and not written by the persons whom he at first declared had written them and delivered same in person. To the party of the first part, Mrs. Harriet G. McVicker, to have discontinued the professional services of the party of the second part, L. C. H. E. Zeigler, M. D., would have been equivalent to the canceling of the original contract existing between first and second parties, which is hereto attached, and for which result each of these persons did wrongfully, cruelly conspire. Knowing this by confession from Mr. Condee, also by letter received from him, the party of the first part, Mrs. Harriet G. McVicker, for truth, justice and right has made the second contract in order to avoid the underhandedness of these unscrupulous persons. Persons that the party of the first part have conversed with in reference to this matter, are: Mr. William E. Hughes, Rev. W. F. Black, Mr. N. E. Pearse, Mrs. N. E. Pearse, Mrs. J. I. Case, Mr. Emil Linder, Mr. James McInerny.

‘Contract.

‘That the party of the first part, Mrs. Harriet G. McVicker, does enter into an agreement and contract for the professional services to be rendered by the party of the second part, L. C. H. E. Zeigler, M. D., at any time or place, during any spell of indisposition which I may be subjected to during the remainder of my natural lifetime; that in the event of sickness such methods are to be employed or adopted as seem best and most expedient; all medicines or other paraphernalia necessary to the discharge of duties in cases of indisposition are to be provided by Dr. Zeigler; [245 Ill. 189]that when the critical moment comes when it is thought that I may pass out, Dr. Zeigler may call the physician or physicians as his judgment may dictate; that the sum which I voluntarily contract to pay for the services thus rendered is to be $100,000, (one hundred thousand dollars,) payable immediately or as soon as possible by my estate, which I leave in trust with the Illinois Trust and Savings Bank.

‘In witness thereof the parties hereto have set their hands and seals July 24th, 1901.’

It is uncontradicted that from the time of the execution of the first contract until the death of Mrs. McVicker at Pasadena, Cal., August 25, 1904, the appellant attended...

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97 practice notes
  • Braye v. Archer-Daniels-Midland Co., ARCHER-DANIELS-MIDLAND
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Illinois
    • 6 Febrero 1997
    ...Contractors' Ass'n v. A.S. Schulman Electric Co., 391 Ill. 333, 63 N.E.2d 392 (1945), citing Zeigler v. Illinois Trust & Savings Bank, 245 Ill. 180, 91 N.E. 1041 (1910). Whether a contract is contrary to public policy depends [175 Ill.2d 216] on the peculiar facts and circumstances of each ......
  • Kremers v. Coca-cola Co., Civil No. 09-333-GPM.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. Southern District of Illinois
    • 27 Abril 2010
    ...officials. See American Home Assurance Co. v. Stone, 61 F.3d 1321, 1324-25 (7th Cir.1995) (citing Zeigler v. Illinois Trust & Sav. Bank, 245 Ill. 180, 91 N.E. 1041, 1046 (1910)); O'Hara v. Ahlgren, Blumenfeld & Kempster, 127 Ill.2d 333, 130 Ill.Dec. 401, 537 N.E.2d 730, 734 (1989); McClure ......
  • Mohanty v. St. John Heart Clinic, S.C., No. 101251.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Illinois
    • 21 Diciembre 2006
    ...the public."'" Groome v. Freyn Engineering Co., 374 Ill. 113, 124, 28 N.E.2d 274 (1940), quoting Zeigler v. Illinois Trust & Savings Bank, 245 Ill. 180, 193, 91 N.E. 1041 (1910). As a result, plaintiffs carry a heavy burden of showing that restrictive covenants in physician employment contr......
  • Phoenix Ins. Co. v. Rosen, No. 110679.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Illinois
    • 21 Abril 2011
    ...85 (quoting Groome v. Freyn Engineering Co., 374 Ill. 113, 124, 28 N.E.2d 274 (1940), quoting Zeigler v. Illinois Trust & Savings Bank, 245 Ill. 180, 193, 91 N.E. 1041 (1910)). Thus, “ ‘[w]hen the legislature has declared, by law, the public policy of the State, the judicial department must......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
96 cases
  • Braye v. Archer-Daniels-Midland Co., ARCHER-DANIELS-MIDLAND
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Illinois
    • 6 Febrero 1997
    ...Contractors' Ass'n v. A.S. Schulman Electric Co., 391 Ill. 333, 63 N.E.2d 392 (1945), citing Zeigler v. Illinois Trust & Savings Bank, 245 Ill. 180, 91 N.E. 1041 (1910). Whether a contract is contrary to public policy depends [175 Ill.2d 216] on the peculiar facts and circumstances of each ......
  • Kremers v. Coca-cola Co., Civil No. 09-333-GPM.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. Southern District of Illinois
    • 27 Abril 2010
    ...officials. See American Home Assurance Co. v. Stone, 61 F.3d 1321, 1324-25 (7th Cir.1995) (citing Zeigler v. Illinois Trust & Sav. Bank, 245 Ill. 180, 91 N.E. 1041, 1046 (1910)); O'Hara v. Ahlgren, Blumenfeld & Kempster, 127 Ill.2d 333, 130 Ill.Dec. 401, 537 N.E.2d 730, 734 (1989); McClure ......
  • Mohanty v. St. John Heart Clinic, S.C., No. 101251.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Illinois
    • 21 Diciembre 2006
    ...the public."'" Groome v. Freyn Engineering Co., 374 Ill. 113, 124, 28 N.E.2d 274 (1940), quoting Zeigler v. Illinois Trust & Savings Bank, 245 Ill. 180, 193, 91 N.E. 1041 (1910). As a result, plaintiffs carry a heavy burden of showing that restrictive covenants in physician employment contr......
  • Phoenix Ins. Co. v. Rosen, No. 110679.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Illinois
    • 21 Abril 2011
    ...85 (quoting Groome v. Freyn Engineering Co., 374 Ill. 113, 124, 28 N.E.2d 274 (1940), quoting Zeigler v. Illinois Trust & Savings Bank, 245 Ill. 180, 193, 91 N.E. 1041 (1910)). Thus, “ ‘[w]hen the legislature has declared, by law, the public policy of the State, the judicial department must......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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