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Learning About Your Nursing Home: Court Websites

law and justice.jpgSome days my law office gets bombarded with inquires from families wanting to know nothing more than if the facility they are considering placing their loved one in has been sued before.

After all, if a facility has been repeatedly sued, do you really want your family member there?

Though I am familiar with the litigation history at some facilities— and certainly don’t mind sharing my knowledge– I usually direct the families towards the local courthouse– or better yet — the court’s website.

Since most nursing home negligence lawsuits are filed in state court, you first of all may want to look in the court within your county.  Lawsuits are considered public records and most courts freely allow the public to access individual files pertaining to lawsuits.

Better yet, today many state and federal courts have on-line databases where you can review court information from your home.

Tips:

  • Even if you think you know the name of the nursing home, check your state’s secretary of state website and / or department of health to confirm the legal entity that owns / operates the facility.  You will not get an accurate court record, if you do not look up the correct entity!
  • Input the name of the nursing home where it says ‘Defendant’– this is the party getting sued
  • Don’t expect to get all the specifics surrounding the lawsuit.  Many jurisdictions do not require all documents to be filed with the court
  • Don’t expect to find out how much every case was worth.  Many nursing home lawsuits are resolved for ‘confidential’ amounts prior to trial
  • Some cases are settled prior to filing of a lawsuit– there is no public record for these cases

Below is a sampling of the lawsuits filed against nursing home behemoth ManorCare in Cook County (Chicago), IL.  This list was compiled using the Cook County Court’s website, and for accuracy sake, you may wish to pull the actual court file to confirm the accuracy of this compilation.

Lawsuits Filed Against ManorCare In Cook County, IL (as of 1/1/11) Since 1997

  • 172 lawsuit filed where ManorCare is a named defendant
  • ManorCare Oak Lawn – 2 lawsuits
  • ManorCare OakLawn East – 1 lawsuit
  • ManorCare OakLawn West – 6 lawsuits
  • ManorCare Hinsdale – 7 lawsuits
  • ManorCare Skokie – 1 lawsuit
  • ManorCare Homewood – 6 lawsuits
  • ManorCare Elk Grove Village – 3 lawsuits
  • ManorCare Palos Heights – 5 lawsuits
  • ManorCare Palos Heights West – 1 lawsuit
  • ManorCare South Holland – 8 lawsuits
  • ManorCare Naperville – 1 lawsuit
  • ManorCare Normal – 1 lawsuit
  • ManorCare Wilmette – 2 lawsuits
  • ManorCare Northbrook – 2 lawsuits
  • ManorCare Arlington Heights – 1 lawsuit
  • ManorCare Libertyville – 1 lawsuit

For laws related to Illinois nursing homes, look here.

Related Nursing Homes Abuse Blog Entries:

ManorCare Facility Named In Nursing Home Negligence Lawsuit After Patient Fractures Leg

Family Awarded $546,000 In ManorCare Lawsuit

Chicagoland Manor Care Facility Named In Wrongful Death Lawsuit

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