Heyl Royster


Heyl Royster



Attorneys Author IDC Quarterly Articles in Fourth Quarter 2020 Issue


The Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel recently published the Fourth Quarter 2020 issue of the IDC Quarterly which features articles written by Heyl Royster attorneys.

Roger Clayton and Emily Perkins co-authored the Health Law column – “Gilbert, Health Care Advertising, and Consent Forms – Second District Rules Obstetrician Was Not an Apparent Agent of Hospital.” The Illinois Appellate Court, Second District, in Prutton v. Baumgart, recently held that an obstetrician was not an apparent agent of a hospital. The plaintiff voluntarily signed a consent form acknowledging that the physician was an independent contractor. Relying on Gilbert v. Sycamore Municipal Hospital, a 1993 Illinois Supreme Court decision, the Second District recognized that a hospital may be liable for the negligence of a physician providing treatment at a hospital, regardless of employment status. However, the stress of labor, or duress, as the plaintiff referred to it, was not sufficient to override the clear and explicit consent forms provided by the hospital. Although the hospital prevailed in Prutton, takeaways include the necessity of clearly explained, unambiguous consent forms, and further that the hospital should refrain from advertising or any element that suggests an employment relationship between physicians and the hospital.

The Civil Rights Update – “Seventh Circuit Clarifies ‘Excusable Neglect’ Requirement Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 6(b)(1)(B) as It Applies to Second Motion for Summary Judgment,” was authored by Jordan Emmert. In Bowman v. Korte, an inmate brought suit to address abuse allegedly suffered at a correctional center. The inmate filed a grievance which was denied by the prison. The State of Illinois Administrative Review Board affirmed the denial. He then filed suit under Section 1983. Over the course of time, through various motions, failure to raise specific issues, missed deadlines, change of counsel for the defendants, and finally a second motion for summary judgment – eventually found to be improperly granted due to an inadequate defense – the Appellate Court, Seventh Circuit, determined that “a lack of explanation ‘will not suffice if no excuse at all is offered or if the excuse is so threadbare as to make the neglect inexplicable.’” – The proffered excuse was “due to ‘unknown reasons.’” As Jordan sums this case up, “while it may not be common for an attorney to find themselves in a position where they are requesting leave to file a second motion for summary judgment, . . . it is important to keep in mind that Rule 6(b)(1)(B) applies to any circumstance where a party seeks leave to file, or take any action, after a deadline has passed. As a result, whenever the circumstance arises, it is essential to make a record of why a failure to meet a deadline is excusable under the rule.”

John Heil is an IDC Board member and member of the Civil Practice Committee, Mark McClenathan is also a member of the Board of Directors and the Civil Practice Committee, and the Construction Law Committee. Emily Perkins is a member of the Employment Law Committee. Bryan Vayr is a member of the Tort Law Committee. Craig Unrath is chair of the IDC Amicus Committee, and Patrick Cloud is chair of the Insurance Law Committee.