Chronis v. United States, No. 17-3093 (7th Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
Chronis visited the University of Illinois Health Center for an examination that included a pap smear. Chronis alleges the procedure caused her pain and bruising. She claims that the Center did not return her calls or allow her to make a follow‐up appointment. Chronis filed an unsuccessful complaint with the Center’s grievance committee, requesting $332 for expenses that she incurred because of the injury. Chronis then sent a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, requesting assistance concerning documented ignorance of policy and procedures. Though her letter mentioned her injuries, it focused on the Center’s lack of responsiveness. She included a general statement that she wanted assistance in “receiving the restitution.” Chronis attached roughly 60 pages of documents, one of which mentioned that Chronis had previously sought $332. CMS directed her to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to file a formal complaint and invited Chronis to follow up for additional assistance. Six months later, Chronis filed a pro se complaint, alleging malpractice. Because the Center receives funds from the Public Health Service, the United States substituted itself as the defendant and removed the case to proceed under the Federal Tort Claims Act, 42 U.S.C. 233; 28 U.S.C. 1346. The Seventh Circuit affirmed the dismissal of the case because Chronis had not exhausted her administrative remedies in that she had failed to first present her claim to the appropriate federal agency. Her letter to CMS did not meet this requirement of making an administrative demand.