Is Hospital's Executive Committee Authorized to Terminate An Agreement With An Employee ?
In Szczerbaniuk v. Memorial Hospital for McHenry County, 180 Ill. App. 3d 706, 536 N.E.2d 138, 129 Ill. Dec. 454 (1989), a hospital's chief executive officer terminated the plaintiff's radiology service agreement on the ground that he had sexually harassed hospital employees.
It was unclear whether the hospital's executive committee had authorized this disciplinary action. Szczerbaniuk, 180 Ill. App. 3d at 709, 536 N.E.2d at 140.
The Second District stated:
"Insofar as section 10.2 clearly contemplates action by committees, we are hesitant to apply it to immunize conduct of an individual acting only pursuant to an informal delegation of authority by an uninformed committee." Szczerbaniuk, 180 Ill. App. 3d at 710-11, 536 N.E.2d at 141.
Szczerbaniuk is distinguishable because after its issuance, the General Assembly amended section 10.2 by adding the words "or individual," thereby extending the immunity to acts or omissions of any individual who has the purpose of internal quality control (Pub. Act 91-448, 5, eff. July 1, 1999 (1999 Ill. Laws 5402, 5402)).
Section 10.2 now provides:
"No hospital shall be liable for civil damages as a result of the acts, omissions, decisions, or any other conduct, except those involving wilful or wanton misconduct, of any committee or individual whose purpose, directly or indirectly, is internal quality control, or for the purpose of professional discipline.
For the purposes of this section, 'wilful and wanton misconduct' means a course of action that shows actual or deliberate intention to harm or that, if not intentional, shows an utter indifference to or conscious disregard for a person's own safety and the safety of others." 210 ILCS 85/10.2 (West 2002).