The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin recently asked experienced Illinois nursing home abuse attorneys Steven M. Levin and Michael F. Bonamarte IV of Levin & Perconti to weigh in on a punitive damages case before the Illinois Supreme Court. The issue before the Illinois Supreme Court involves whether punitive damages are available under Illinois’s Nursing Home Care Act and follows the filing of a complaint in Winnebago County against Alden Park Strathmoore, Inc. for damages arising out of the plaintiff’s mother’s care at the Illinois nursing home prior to the elder woman’s death.
The first two counts of the Illinois nursing home abuse complaint sought compensatory damages under Illinois’s Nursing Home Care and Wrongful Death acts, but the third count is the one that has incited debate. The third count was a survival action under the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act and included a request to reserve the right to seek punitive damages for the defendant’s alleged willful and wanton conduct. The legal argument countered by the nursing home defendant was that the plaintiff’s reservation of the right to seek punitive damages did not survive the elder woman’s death.
The question, that faces is the Supreme Court of Illinois, is whether common law punitive damages are available in an action brought by the personal representative of the estate of a deceased nursing home resident based on the Survival Act for willful and wanton violations of the Nursing Home Care Act which caused injuries that ultimately claimed her life. Chicago nursing home neglect attorneys Steven M. Levin and Michael F. Bonamarte IV, on behalf of the Ilinois Trial Lawyers Association, filed an amicus brief in support of the nursing home abuse lawsuit plaintiff. Steve Levin, who has advocated for nursing home abuse victims for more than 25 years, stated that this is a crucial safety rule and it is “an important principle that our most vulnerable citizens need.”
Read more about the impending Illinois nursing home damages ruling at The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.