Jeff Sparger, on behalf of his daughter, sued the University of Chicago Medical Center and Dr. Bakhtiar Yamini, alleging that the doctor’s negligence in repairing a spinal fluid leak caused his daughter to develop meningitis. The Cook County judge ordered Sparger to disclose the records from two hospitals that his daughter visited before her surgery over his objections that they were privileged under the Illinois Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Confidentiality Act (740 ILCS 110/1, et seq.), the “Act.”
The Spargers’ attorney respectfully declined the disclosure, putting him in “friendly” contempt of court pending the appellate court’s review. The Illinois Appellate Court for the First District ruled on the matter, which concluded that the Cook County judge was wrong and should have restricted the use of the privileged medical records under the Act.
The surgery that was complained about took place on March 30, 2015. At an April 27, 2015 follow-up visit, Dr. Yamini confirmed the leaking of the spinal fluid and instructed his staff to “overstitch” the surgical wound. Although Dr. Yamini told the Sparger family that their daughter needed to be admitted to the hospital, she was not because of a nurses’ strike. After a pouch developed at the wound site, the Sparger daughter developed a fever and significant neck pain. Thereafter, Dr. Yamini surgically repaired the spinal fluid leak.