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Illinois appellate court rules that plaintiffs can enter evidence of conduct even after nursing home admits negligence

An Illinois appellate court recently issued a decision that permitted a plaintiff to present evidence at trial of a nursing home’s conduct, even after the nursing home admitted negligence. The defendant, Carbondale Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, admitted before trial that it failed to adequately chart the plaintiff’s health and failed to timely notify a physician. The nursing home was also negligent in allowing the plaintiff to become dehydrated when the plaintiff could not consume adequate amounts of food and water on her own.

On appeal, Carbondale Nursing and Rehabilitation Center tried to use its admissions of negligence to exclude evidence of its failures in treating and caring for the plaintiff. However, the lower court’s decision to allow testimony on the nursing home’s lack of adequate care was affirmed. The appellate court held that a nursing home injury plaintiff must be allowed to discuss the care given by the nursing home because it is “necessary for an understanding of plaintiff’s claim.” The court indicated that this rule would still apply and that the plaintiff should still be allowed to present evidence of the nursing home’s conduct, even if the nursing home had admitted both negligence and proximate cause.

This decision will help vindicate plaintiffs who were injured due to the lack of care and negligence of nursing homes. By permitting an injured plaintiff to present testimony and other evidence of the nursing home’s conduct, nursing homes will not be able to prevent jurors from seeing the full extent of harm that the nursing homes caused or should have prevented.

Click here for the Illinois Appellate Court’s decision