In its opinion filed on July 15, 2016, the Appellate Court of Illinois Fourth District (“Appellate Court”) reinstated an Illinois medical malpractice jury’s award of medical expenses to the plaintiff in the amount of $133,347.91, which the trial judge had reduced by $91,724.03, pursuant to section 2-1205 of the Code of Civil Procedure (Procedure Code) (735 ILCS 5/2-1205 (West 2014)).
The Appellate Court stated that the issue before it was whether the Illinois Legislature intended section 2- 1205 of the Code of Civil Procedure to allow verdicts to be reduced by the amount of medical bills written off by health care providers.
The Appellate Court held that the trial court had erred by granting the reduction because the statute does not allow a verdict to be reduced by the amount of the medical bills which have been satisfied or the value of the benefit to the plaintiff, but instead only allows a verdict to be reduced by the amount paid to the medical providers or payable to the plaintiff.
Section 2-1205 Of The Code Of Civil Procedure
Section 2-1205 of the Code of Civil Procedure states: “Reduction in amount of recovery. An amount equal to … (ii) 100% of the benefits provided for medical charges, hospital charges, or nursing or caretaking charges, which have been paid, or which have become payable to the injured person by any other person, corporation, insurance company or fund in relation to a particular injury, shall be deducted from any judgment in an action to recover for that injury based on an allegation of negligence or other wrongful act, not including intentional torts, on the part of a licensed hospital or physician; … ”
In deciding the issue before it, the Appellate Court stated that the plain language of section 2-1205 shows it was only intended to apply if the benefits were paid to the medical providers or had become payable to the plaintiff (“which have been paid, or which have become payable to the injured person”), and then only if other limitations do not apply. The Appellate Court stated that the amount the medical providers wrote off from their original bills was never paid by anyone, and the amount certainly had not become payable to the plaintiff. The Appellate Court stated that it will not read language out of a statute in determining its meaning.
The Appellate Court therefore reversed the trial court’s order granting the defendants’ motion to reduce the jury’s verdict by $91,724.03, and remanded for the trial court to reinstate the Illinois medical malpractice jury’s verdict without any reduction.
Source Miller v. Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center, 2016 IL App (4th) 150728.
If you may have been harmed due to medical negligence that occurred in Illinois or in another U.S. state, you should promptly seek the advice of a local medical malpractice lawyer in Illinois or in your U.S. state who may investigate your medical negligence claim for you and represent you in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
Click here to visit our website to be connected with medical malpractice attorneys in your state who may assist you, or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959.
Turn to us when you don’t know where to turn.