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Brennan Burtker Wins Appeal in Fetal Burial Case

The firm congratulates partner Anthony Longo and associates Ken Hoffmann and James Kearney for an impressive appellate victory. The case involved allegations that the defendant hospital failed to timely bury plaintiff’s stillborn fetus. Plaintiff alleged, the hospital was negligent when it kept the fetus pooled with other remains in a hospital cooler for twelve months. Plaintiff alleged numerous causes of action which were dismissed by the trial court until eventually entering summary judgment in favor of the hospital on the sole remaining claim of voluntary undertaking. Plaintiff appealed, but the Appellate Court affirmed. The Appellate Court agreed with the defense position that plaintiff could not pursue a negligence cause of action based upon the voluntary undertaking doctrine. The decision represents one of the only known cases in Illinois where a defendant has prevailed in a negligent burial case. A copy of the court’s opinion can be read here.