Illinois Appellate Court Reversed Summary Judgment Following the Mental Health Code in Detaining Suicidal Patient

Anita Irvin went into the emergency room complaining of swelling and pain in her leg. During that visit, her primary care physician informed the emergency-room physician that she had recently made suicidal ideations.

The emergency-room staff prevented Irvin from leaving the hospital, dressed her in a paper hospital gown, and forced her to turn over her purse and provide blood and urine samples before a counselor could be called to evaluate her.

Irvin sued the hospital for false imprisonment.

The 5th District Appellate Court reversed the trial court’s grant of summary judgment because it was not clear from the record whether the hospital properly followed the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Code (405 ILCS 5/1-100 et seq.).

The appeals panel explained: “To have a patient detained for examination, the petition required by sections 3-601 (of the Code) must be presented to the director of the facility . . . [T]he petitioner must [also] assert that a diligent effort was made to obtain a certificate and that a diligent effort was made to persuade the patient to submit to a mental health evaluation willingly.”

In the appellate court opinion, the court stated that here, neither was clear from the record. Accordingly, the trial court’s summary judgment order was reversed.

Irvin v. Southern Illinois Healthcare, 2019 IL App (5th) 170446.

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling medical malpractice lawsuits, hospital negligence cases, and physician negligence lawsuits for individuals, families and loved ones who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of a medical provider for more than 40 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Forest Park, Waukegan, Gurnee, Morton Grove, Evanston, Crystal Lake, Elgin, St. Charles, Elburn, Joliet, Bolingbrook, Orland Park, Tinley Park, Calumet City, Downers Grove, Countryside, Bridgeview, Chicago (Hyde Park, Avalon Park, Calumet Heights, Kenwood, Bronzeville, Douglas, Chinatown, Near South Side, Near West Side, Old Town, Wicker Park, Hermosa, Portage Park, Albany Park, Ravenswood, Edgewater, Edison Park), Niles, Lincolnshire, Vernon Hills, Mount Prospect and Rolling Meadows, Ill.

Robert D. Kreisman has been an active member of the Illinois and Missouri bars since 1976.

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