Illinois Appellate Court Affirms Unenforceable Arbitration Provision in Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit

The decedent administrator sued Oakbrook Healthcare Centre, alleging negligence while the decedent resided in the skilled nursing facility. Oakbrook moved to compel mediation or arbitration with respect to the counts against it, relying on the arbitration provision within the contract signed by the decedent’s daughter and the nursing home.

The trial court denied Oakbrook’s motion to compel arbitration, finding the arbitration provision substantively unconscionable. Oakbrook then appealed.

The First District Court of Appeals affirmed on other grounds. The arbitration provision was unenforceable because the contract unequivocally provided it would terminate “immediately upon the resident’s death.”

Although Oakbrook argued that the parties did not intend the entire contract to terminate upon the decedent’s death, the unambiguous termination provision language precluded Oakbrook’s argument. Further, the drafters of the contract could easily have used other language but chose not to. The trial court’s reading did not cause conflict between the contractual provisions because the parties could be compelled to arbitrate during a resident’s lifetime.

Clanton v. Oakbrook Healthcare Centre, Ltd., 2022 IL App (1st) 210984.

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling nursing home abuse lawsuits, nursing home death cases, and nursing home negligence lawsuits for individuals, families and loved ones who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of a medical provider for more than 45 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Lake Zurich, Crystal Lake, South Elgin, Naperville, Aurora, Tinley Park, Glenview, Chicago (Brighton Park, Back of the Yards, Washington Park, Grand Crossing, Burnside, Cottage Grove Heights, Pullman, Gold Coast, Logan Square), Berwyn, Oak Park and Maywood, Ill.

Robert D. Kreisman has been an active member of the Illinois and Missouri bars since 1976.

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