Supreme Court Summaries
Opinions filed April 3, 2008
No. 104049 Doe v. Dilling
Appellate citation: 371 Ill. App. 3d 151.
JUSTICE FREEMAN delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Chief Justice Thomas and Justices Fitzgerald, Garman, and Karmeier concurred in the judgment and opinion.
Justice Kilbride specially concurred, with opinion. Justice Burke took no part in the decision.
In late 1999, a man died of AIDS. He had a fiancée, the plaintiff in this Cook County litigation, who sued his estate and his parents. (His estate, lacking assets, has since been dropped from the lawsuit.) Plaintiff claims that she now has full-blown AIDS and that she delayed treatment for it based on misrepresentations by defendant parents. The complaint stated counts for fraudulent misrepresentation and negligent misrepresentation. On this latter count, the circuit court entered a directed verdict for the defendants, and this claim never reached the jury. However, the court allowed the fraudulent misrepresentation count to go to the jury for a determination as to compensatory (but not punitive) damages. The jury awarded $2 million. On review, the appellate court vacated this award. In this decision, the Illinois Supreme Court agreed with that result, finding that the plaintiff was unable to prove that she justifiably relied on the alleged statements made by the parents. However, the supreme court also held that the tort of fraudulent misrepresentation has traditionally been limited to commercial or transactional dealings and should not be expanded to personal situations such as this. The appellate court was incorrect in its discussion which made that expansion seem possible, even though, in this case, it correctly found that there was no right to recovery because of the plaintiff’s lack of proof.