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Case Law Update: Physician’s Breach of Contract

Larsen, M.D. v. The Carle Foundation, No. 4-08-0149 (11-21-08) affirmed that in a breach of contract complaint against a hospital for its failure to renew privileges of surgeon, the trial court did not err when it granted judgment at the close of the plaintiff’s, case in defendant’s favor, pursuant to the provisions of Section 2-1110 of Code of Civil Procedure. Although the physician established that hospital was untimely in its forwarding of application to renew his privileges, the hospital gave him additional time to complete his application; and the plaintiff failed to prove that request for additional information was unreasonable, gave him insufficient time to respond, or that timely compliance was not possible. Further, because plaintiff’s privileges were merely allowed to expire without renewal, rather than physician being subject to an adverse decision, he is not entitled to a fair hearing pursuant to the Hospital Licensing Act. This Illinois decision will greatly affect medical malpractice cases.