Category Archives: Tort Reform

New Illinois Medical Malpractice Law

Governor Quinn recently signed Public Act 97-1145 into law, changing one big thing and clarifying another big issue in Illinois medical malpractice cases.

First, attorneys fees on medical malpractice cases are now capped at 33 1/3% of the total recovery. There had previously been lower caps as case values increased. This is important for all attorneys to pay attention to for new or future cases. I think it’s a good thing, as med mal cases tend to be the toughest, longest, and most expensive cases personal injury lawyers handle.

The act finally codifies the current version of the 2-622 expert certification requirement:

(735 ILCS 5/2-622)  (from Ch. 110, par. 2-622)
    Sec. 2-622. Healing art malpractice.
    (a) In any action, whether in tort, contract or otherwise,
in which the plaintiff seeks damages for injuries or death by
reason of medical, hospital, or other healing art malpractice,
the plaintiff's attorney or the plaintiff, if the plaintiff is
proceeding pro se, shall file an affidavit, attached to the
original and all copies of the complaint, declaring one of the
        1. That the affiant has consulted and reviewed the
    facts of the case with a health professional who the
    affiant reasonably believes: (i) is knowledgeable in the
    relevant issues involved in the particular action; (ii)
    practices or has practiced within the last 6 years or
    teaches or has taught within the last 6 years in the same
    area of health care or medicine that is at issue in the
    particular action; and (iii) is qualified by experience or
    demonstrated competence in the subject of the case; that
    the reviewing health professional has determined in a
    written report, after a review of the medical record and
    other relevant material involved in the particular action
    that there is a reasonable and meritorious cause for the
    filing of such action; and that the affiant has concluded
    on the basis of the reviewing health professional's review
    and consultation that there is a reasonable and meritorious
    cause for filing of such action. If the affidavit is filed
    as to a defendant who is a physician licensed to treat
    human ailments without the use of drugs or medicines and
    without operative surgery, a dentist, a podiatrist, a
    psychologist, or a naprapath, the written report must be
    from a health professional licensed in the same profession,
    with the same class of license, as the defendant. For
    affidavits filed as to all other defendants, the written
    report must be from a physician licensed to practice
    medicine in all its branches. In either event, the
    affidavit must identify the profession of the reviewing
    health professional. A copy of the written report, clearly
    identifying the plaintiff and the reasons for the reviewing
    health professional's determination that a reasonable and
    meritorious cause for the filing of the action exists, must
    be attached to the affidavit, but information which would
    identify the reviewing health professional may be deleted
    from the copy so attached.

(Howard Zimmerle is a medical malpractice lawyer in the Quad Cities of Illinois and Iowa. He can be reached at 309-794-1660 or hzimmerle [at]

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Filed under Illinois law, Legal News, Medical Malpractice, Tort Reform, Uncategorized

Wall Street Journal – “What the Doctor Missed”

Interesting new article in the Wall Street Journal today about steps doctors and hospitals are taking to try to reduce the number of serious mistakes. There are some interesting statistics in the articles, including one from a Johns Hopkins study noting that diagnostic errors kill 40,000 to 80,000 hospitalized patients annually.

One of the interesting things I’ve found in articles like this is how so many quotes are couched in terms of “reducing medical malpractice claims” rather than “reducing the number of people killed or seriously injured due to mistakes”. This article has a little of both.

For those who don’t think medical malpractice lawsuits do any good, consider the fact that they seem to be a motivating factor in efforts to reduce medical errors. That’s good!

The entire article is linked here.

(Howard Zimmerle is a medical malpractice and nursing home malpractice attorney in the uad City area, including Rock Island, Moline, Davenport, Bettendorf and surrounding areas. He can be reached at 309-794-1660 or hzimmerle [at]

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Filed under Medical Information, Medical Malpractice, Tort Reform

6 Points on the Illinois Nursing Home Safety Task Force Report

It’s true here in the Quad Cities and across the nation – nursing homes are often understaffed, overfilled, and the workers often abuse and/or neglect their residents. One of my goals as a lawyer is to do my part to reduce nursing home abuse and neglect by holding the nursing homes responsible in court.

The State of Illinois is doing its part (or at least something). Governor Quinn appointed a task force to learn what causes substandard care to elderly nursing home residents. The full report is here – but some of my notes are below the fold:

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Filed under Medical Information, Medical Malpractice, Tort Reform