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Illinois Nursing Home Mandatory Arbitration Clauses

6850760963_1cc9603d1b_bNursing homes in Illinois can ask residents to sign an arbitration agreement so long as it is drafted in compliance with general Illinois contract law. Although the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act nullfieid any waiver given by a resident that bars his right to litigation, a 2012 Illinois Supreme Court decision invalidated this provision. In short, the provision voided mandatory arbitration clauses. But the Court invalidated the anti-waiver provision of the Act in favor of the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA), which deems mandatory arbitration clauses valid, irrevocable, and for the most part, enforceable.

In 1979 lawmakers passed the primary regulatory scheme regarding the operation of nursing homes.  The Illinois Nursing Home Care Act was enacted “amid concern over reports of inadequate, improper and degrading treatment of patients in nursing homes.”  The Act gives the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) the authority to regulate the standard of care given in long-term care facilities and provides civil and criminal penalties for violations of these regulations. Among other things, the Act prohibits conduct such as neglect by employees who fail to provide adequate patient care or maintenance resulting in mental or physical injury to a resident. [Read more…]

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Ronald F. Wittmeyer, Jr. practices plaintiffs' personal injury law at his office in Arlington Heights, Illinois.

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