Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Dealing With Reconstructive Surgery and An Infection

In Petre v. Kucich, 331 Ill. App. 3d 935, 937, 771 N.E.2d 1084, 1086, 265 Ill. Dec. 125 (2002), the court repeatedly held that because the defendants should have been allowed to assert the empty chair defense, the trial court abused its discretion in refusing to give IPI Civil (2000) No. 12.04. Petre, 331 Ill. App. 3d at 943, 771 N.E.2d at 1091. In so ruling, this court rejected exactly the same argument made by plaintiff and accepted by the trial court in the second trial, that Petre's injury was the infection. The Petre court stated: "Plaintiffs attempt to cloud the issue by arguing that Petre's 'injury' was not his sternal debridement and resulting reconstructive surgery but, rather, the infection itself. Plaintiff's reason that because the Hickory physicians had no part in failing to prescribe prophylactic vancomycin for Petre, they could not have been the sole proximate cause of Petre's infection; thus, the Hickory physicians could not be held liable for Petre's ultimate injuries (sternal debridement and reconstructive surgery) as a matter of law. We find this argument unpersuasive." Petre, 331 Ill. App. 3d at 943-44, 771 N.E.2d at 1091.