Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Smith and Perkins Obtain Summary Judgment for Surgeon and Practice Group in Peoria County


Quinn Johnston attorneys Matthew Smith and Samuel Perkins recently obtained summary judgment for a surgeon and his practice group in a negligence lawsuit in Peoria County.

The plaintiff, a surgical nurse, alleged to have sustained a rotator cuff injury in the operating room when the defendant surgeon repositioned an overhead surgical monitor she was holding. As a result, the plaintiff required surgical repair of her rotator cuff and was unable to work for almost a year. The plaintiff alleged the surgeon owed a duty to avoid a foreseeable risk of injury associated with moving the monitor. The plaintiff also alleged the surgeon failed to follow appropriate safety protocols and policies when repositioning the surgical equipment.

Smith and Perkins sought summary judgment on the basis that her injuries were unforeseeable and unlikely to occur, and thus the surgeon owed no duty to the plaintiff under Illinois law based upon the specific circumstances presented. They further argued that imposing a duty upon a surgeon to guard against injuries the plaintiff suffered would be overly burdensome and negatively impact the surgeon’s ability to provide appropriate care to patients during surgery, and imposing such a duty on surgeons would violate Illinois’ public policy. In opposing the defendants’ motion for summary judgment, the plaintiff argued the surgeon should have waited for the plaintiff to let go of the equipment, and that a finding that the surgeon did not owe the plaintiff a duty to avoid her injuries would be inconsistent with Illinois law.

Following a hearing on the motion, the court agreed with the defendants’ position and granted summary judgment in their favor, holding that Illinois law did not impose a duty upon the surgeon to avoid the plaintiff’s injuries under the specific circumstances of the case. The successful defense of this case follows Smith’s recent string of four defense verdicts in medical malpractice cases in the last six months.

Recent Posts