Does Inclusion Of Third-Party Actions For Implied Indemnity Within Ambit Of Medical Malpractice Period Of Repose Reduce Liability Of Hospitals ?

In Ashley v. Evangelical Hospitals Corp., 230 Ill. App. 3d 513, 594 N.E.2d 1269, 171 Ill. Dec. 749 (1992), this court expanded the holding in Hayes to third-party actions for implied indemnity. Ashley, 230 Ill. App. 3d at 522; see also Roberson v. Belleville Anesthesia Associates, Ltd., 213 Ill. App. 3d 47, 51, 571 N.E.2d 1131, 157 Ill. Dec. 112 (1991) (reaching a similar result). The Ashley court observed that, much like the relationship between a third-party plaintiff and a third-party defendant in an action for contribution, the indemnitee in an implied indemnity claim seeks from the indemnitor those damages caused by the indemnitor in the underlying suit. Ashley, 230 Ill. App. 3d at 518. This court also noted that, similar to a suit for contribution, a claim for indemnification exposes an insurance company to the same liability as if the patient had brought a direct action against the insured. Ashley, 230 Ill. App. 3d at 521. Accordingly, the Ashley court concluded that the inclusion of third-party actions for implied indemnity within the ambit of the medical malpractice period of repose furthers the statute's legislative intent of enabling insurance companies to better predict future liability by reducing the extended exposure of physicians and hospitals to medical malpractice liability. Ashley, 230 Ill. App. 3d at 521. In its briefs before this court, MacNeal Hospital acknowledges this court's holding in Ashley that the four-year medical malpractice statute of repose applies to claims for implied indemnity. See Ashley, 230 Ill. App. 3d at 522. Nevertheless, MacNeal Hospital contends that Ashley is no longer controlling in light of the Illinois Supreme Court's recent decision in Travelers Casualty & Surety Co. v. Bowman, 229 Ill. 2d 461, 893 N.E.2d 583, 323 Ill. Dec. 311 (2008) (Travelers).