In an appeal before the Illinois Court of Appeals (Fifth District), Baker Sterchi successfully secured reversal of a Madison County trial court’s denial of its motion to dismiss a medical malpractice lawsuit alleging wrongful death against a Missouri hospital. The lawsuit arose from the transfer of an Illinois resident to a Missouri hospital for medical treatment that occurred only in Missouri. The plaintiff alleged the Missouri hospital’s acceptance of the patient, as well as the Missouri hospital’s “routine” acceptance of patients from Illinois, was sufficient to support specific personal jurisdiction in Illinois over the Missouri hospital.
The Missouri hospital moved to dismiss the complaint, arguing that specific personal jurisdiction did not exist because the claims of negligence did not arise from any conduct or actions taken by it in Illinois. The Missouri hospital specifically argued that the mere acceptance of the transfer of an Illinois resident at the request of an Illinois provider for medical care in Missouri did not subject the hospital to general or specific personal jurisdiction in Illinois.
Initially, the Illinois Court of Appeals for the Fifth District declined to hear the interlocutory appeal, but reconsidered upon the Illinois Supreme Court’s Supervisory Order directing it to consider the Missouri hospital’s appeal. The Fifth District then reversed the Madison County circuit court’s denial of the motion to dismiss, holding that the Missouri hospital’s acceptance of the transfer of an out-of-state patient, alone, does not create sufficient minimum contacts with Illinois to create personal jurisdiction in Illinois courts.