On June 28, 2018, the First District Illinois Appellate Court in the case of Daley v. Teruel and Ingalls Memorial Hospital, 2018 IL App (1st) 170891 reversed an earlier ruling in the trial court that ordered the production of incident reports. The Appellate Court ruled instead that the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act (42 U.S.C. §299b-21 et seq. (2012)) and Illinois Medical Studies Act (735 ILCS 5/8-2101 et seq. (2016) provided privilege for incident and risk reports because they are created as “patient safety work product”. The Court’s ruling found that both the U.S. Congress and Illinois Legislature had created a “safe haven” to analyze voluntarily created materials to improve patient outcomes and patient safety. Therefore, reports and materials intended to be submitted to certified-Patient Safety Organizations are privileged from being turned over in discovery in civil litigation regarding patient claims of medical negligence.
When it comes to the pursuit of potential claims of medical negligence resulting in injury, and/or death, it is extremely important to speak with an experienced lawyer. Obtaining access to documents, medical records, reports, hospital policies, standards and practices is critical in evaluating potential medical negligence claims. While the Court’s recent ruling may operate to curtail access to certain documents and reports, traditional discovery methods are still available to a skilled medical negligence practitioner to take advantage of in representing both prospective and existing clients.
If you or a loved one believe that you have been the victim of a medical error, surgical error, and/or negligence related to medical treatment, contact the experienced attorneys at Strong Law Offices to discuss your potential claims. There is never a charge to speak with one of our attorneys for a free, initial consultation.