In a 2–1 decision, an Illinois appellate court ruled that, in a medical-malpractice action, a healthcare LLC’s lawyer may hold privileged, ex parte communications with a non-party LLC member who also served as the plaintiff’s treating physician.
The court imposed limitations on the discussion, however, disallowing privileged communications prior to the non-party physician’s damages deposition but allowing privileged communications before his liability deposition. McChristian v. Brink, 2016 IL App 152674 (Ill. App. Ct. Sept. 30, 2016), corrected opinion issued December 22, 2016. Read the decision here.
While not a complete victory for medical-malpractice defense lawyers, they must feel better than their Washington-state counterparts. In 2014, the Washington Supreme Court, in Youngs v. Peacehealth, 316 P.3d 1035 (Wash. 2014), held that the State’s common-law prohibition of defense attorneys’ ex parte communications with a plaintiff-patient’s non-party physicians supersedes the corporation’s attorney–client privilege with its employed physicians.