Peoria, IL (309) 676-0591

Kirk v. Michael Reese Hospital, et al.

117 Ill.2d 507 (1987)

Illinois adopts learned intermediary doctrine in pharmaceutical cases.

Automobile passenger injured when driver lost control of vehicle and hit tree, apparently because of side effects of prescription drugs, brought action against drug manufacturers, physicians, and administering hospital, alleging negligence and products liability claims. The Circuit Court, Cook County, Myron T. Gomberg, J., dismissed. Passenger appealed. The Appellate Court, 136 Ill.App.3d 945, 91 Ill.Dec. 420, 483 N.E.2d 906, Rizzi, J., reversed and remanded. Defendants appealed. The Supreme Court, Ward, J., held that: (1) manufacturers could not reasonably have foreseen injury, and were thus not strictly liable; (2) hospital owed no duty to passenger, a nonpatient, nonuser of product, and was thus not strictly liable or liable on basis of negligence; (3) passenger was not within class of persons to whom duty of care, including duty to warn of effects of prescription drugs, was owed by doctors; and (4) doctor, who allegedly rendered medical treatment in capacity of agent/servant or employee of second doctor, had no duty to passenger, and thus was not liable, and neither could second doctor be liable for passenger’s injuries. Read More