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Case Law Update: Nursing Home Care Act

Childs v. Pinnacle Health Care, No. 2-09-0648 (3-17-10) reversed a decision that found that a nursing home lawsuit filed for wrongful death and negligence against nursing home corporation and its director of nursing; trial court dismissed with prejudice counts against director of nursing, holding that these allegations were premised on Nursing Home Care Act, to which only licensees and owners of nursing homes can be held liable. Dismissal improper, as counts against director of nursing include allegations of negligent acts or omissions as to medical judgment, thus sounding in healing art malpractice and within realm of her professional nursing responsibilities, and they are independent of and not proscribed by Nursing Home Care Act. This case will have a large impact on nursing home law in Illinois.