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Case Law Update: Settlement in Medical Malpractice Cases

Gillespie v. University of Chicago Hospitals, No1-07-1962 (12-31-08) ruled that the trial court did not err when it granted directed verdict in favor of non settling physician for wrongful death and survival because there was no physician patient relationship between plaintiff’s decedent and internist, whom emergency room physicians listed as plaintiff’s decedent’s treating doctor, after she was discharged from the emergency room when defendant, physician, never saw her; and her report of EKG results was not used in plaintiff’s diagnosis. In addition, since plaintiff, as adult decedent’s mother, had no liability for decedent’s medical bills, trial court properly refused to allocate any portion of settlement to family expense; and allocated settlement two thirds to survival action and one third to wrongful death. This will have a great impact on medical malpractice cases.