State legislatures and judges make hundreds of decisions that influence the way cases are prepared and presented for court every day. At The Law Offices of David H. Brinton, we know how important it is to stay current with legal issues. We trail the legal stories that will have an impact on the strategies we use while pursuing the compensation you deserve in personal injury and nursing home actions.
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Original Post In September, the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a new rule that would prevent most nursing homes and other long-term care facilities from using forced arbitration to strip new residents of their right to file lawsuits against these companies. The industry soon fired back by doing the very thing it doesn’t want its customers to do: filing a lawsuit. This morning, the judge in the case granted the industry’s request for a preliminary injunction preventing the new rule from being enforced. Just to recap: The CMS rule basically says that if a long-term care facility wants to accept Medicare or Medicaid, it will have to stop putting forced arbitration clauses in new residential agreements. Already-signed resident agreements that contain...Read More
Concern about mom or dad’s health and well-being is top of mind for many baby boomers today. Worrisome signs of your parent’s frailty, progressive memory loss or the decline in health require more and more of your help and attention. But what if you live a good distance away? Whether you live an hour away, in a different state, or maybe even in another country, caregiving at a distance presents very real challenges. No longer just a devoted daughter or son, you’re now what the professionals in the aging field call a “long-distance caregiver.” Thrust into what is often a new world of intricate responsibilities, you may find it hard to see the personal rewards ahead. But they are there, as is the help available to assist you on this caregiving journey. There is no one right way to...Read More
Loneliness and social isolation have been clearly linked to poor health outcomes. “A Review of Social Isolation” by Nicholas R. Nicholson published in The Journal of Primary Prevention, observes how “social isolation has been demonstrated to lead to numerous detrimental health effects in older adults, including increased risk for all-cause mortality, dementia, increase risk for rehospitalization, and an increased number of falls.” Unfortunately, isolation among seniors is alarmingly common, and will continue to increase in prevalence as the population grows. Learn how to help your loved ones stay healthy by reading more on the top ways to help seniors avoid isolation. Ways to Help Seniors Avoid Isolation “A Review of Social Isolation” notes that the prevalence of isolation...Read More
Fine print buried in nursing home admissions contracts is depriving nursing home residents and their families of their constitutional rights. During the incredibly stressful nursing home admissions process, many nursing home corporations push residents and their families into signing away their right to go to court — even in instances when residents suffer severe neglect, serious injuries, death or sexual and physical abuse. Forced arbitration clauses are unfair terms that block seniors from accessing the court system. Instead, they are pushed into private, biased arbitration forums where decisions are often made by the industry’s handpicked arbitration firms where there are no appeals, no accountability and no transparency. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the...Read More
Gov. Rauner Touts Bogus Survey in His Ongoing Campaign Against Taxpaying Middle Class & Working Families U.S. Chamber Got What it Paid For: A Biased Study Designed to Reach a Foregone Conclusion Statement by Perry J. Browder President, Illinois Trial Lawyers Association September 10, 2015 Original Article Gov. Bruce Rauner’s appearance today with the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, a front group for the nation’s wealthiest special interests, represents his latest effort to shift more burden and risk to middle class taxpayers so that the insurance industry and largest corporations – already collecting record profits – can skirt financial accountability for their dangerous actions. What Gov. Rauner won’t mention is the true motive behind so-called “lawsuit...Read More
If you think your loved one is not getting the care he deserves or is being neglected or abused, call the Illinois Department of Public Health Nursing Home Hotline at (800) 252-4343. You will speak with a representative who will take down your complaint. The Department will send a nurse to the facility to investigate. You should expect an answer in a month or two. You can also talk with the Ombudsman at the facility. Every facility has an ombudsman who acts as an advocate for the resident. The Ombudsman is not employed by the nursing home; he or she is employed by the State or County. Find out who the Ombudsman is at the facility in which your loved one lives. You can call and ask. Or, it should be posted. An Ombudsman may be able to help immediately with problems like the...Read More
When you place a loved one in a nursing home, you usually have to sign a contract. Most of these contracts contain Arbitration Provisions. These require that arbitration of any complaint you have regarding care given to the loved one, including neglect and abuse. If the claim is arbitrated, you lose your right to a jury trial. The case will be arbitrated by a lawyer whom the nursing home agrees can be the arbitrator. This may result in an award significantly less than a jury verdict. It also may mean the loss of an award of attorney’s fees and costs which must be awarded to the plaintiff who prevails in a nursing home case. Until recently, a plaintiff could successfully argue that an Arbitration Provision was unenforceable – that a plaintiff in a nursing home case was...Read More
Governor Quinn has signed a bill that will make it easier for families to obtain records of deceased loved ones, including nursing home records. In the past, the family usually had to open an estate in order to obtain these records. This was costly and time consuming. S.B. 1694 allows you or your attorney to more quickly and easily obtain the necessary records. This, in turn, will allow the attorney and you to determine what your rights and options are more quickly than before. Click here to see the entire bill.Read More
Deciding to put a loved one in a nursing home can be a very difficult decision, but once that decision is made, the question becomes which home to choose. There are many questions going through the family’s head when it decides on which home would be the best for your loved one. The family members may ask, “What is this home’s record?” or “Does this home have enough staff?”. Questions like these can be answered, which will make finding the right home a lot easier. One source to answer these questions and others for is medicare.gov. This website has information about different nursing homes in your area. Here you can pick the area where you want your loved one to live and compare different homes. After you open the website, go to “Resource Locator” and click on “Nursing...Read More
According to the Nursing Home Care Act, a resident has the right to a jury trial. However, if the nursing home has an arbitration agreement in their contract, that may trump this right. The Supreme Court of Illinois found in Carter v. SSC Odin Operating Company, LLC arbitration agreements may be enforceable; anti-waiver provisions do not defeat them. The Supreme Court has sent the case back to the appellate court with instructions to consider other arguments against arbitration. To learn more about arbitration clauses in nursing home contracts, go to...Read More