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Civil Justice System Helps Prevent Illinois Nursing Home Neglect

The Presidents of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, Jerry Latherow, recently had an article published in the State-Journal Register discussing the merits of the civil justice system in our state. Unfortunately, when the civil justice system is discussed in a public way these days it almost always has to do with tort reform or otherwise critical attacks on the supposed harms caused by the civil law. Our Illinois nursing home abuse lawyers have helped many local residents seek fairness and accountability by using that system. We all should be proud of the way the justice system in our country affords all those hurt by others the right to a level playing field no matter how big or powerful the other side.

Yet, those big interests who are held in check by the civil justice system are constantly working to undermine the system. Each Chicago nursing home neglect lawyer knows that this includes big nursing home companies who try to shirk responsibility for the harms caused when inadequate care is provided to seniors at these skilled nursing facilities. Without the protections afforded by the civil justice system, these facilities-already driven by profits-will have even more reason to make policies to pad their own pockets. The care of the vulnerable seniors who depend on that care will only be made worse as a result.

Attorney Latherow echoed those thoughts in the recent article, explaining how the civil justice system demands fairness, accountability, and increased safety in so many areas. He noted the many recent headlines that suggest how big interests can cause harm to so many community members, from massive car recalls and prescription drug problems to financial institutions that leave consumers in difficult positions.

It is essentially uncontested that corporations are always driven by profit-after all, that is what business is all about. However, it is absolutely essential that that drive for profits not leave vast swaths of the community hurt in the process. This includes vulnerable nursing home residents who count on their facilities not to provide substandard care in order to make more money for shareholders.

Federal and state regulators do not have anywhere near the resources to ensure that the appropriate standards are upheld to protect consumers. The civil justice system fills in the gaps. As the article explains, “Each American has the constitutionally protected right to hold those who harm them responsible, whether it be another person or a large corporation. We are afforded this right in a civil court.”

Most community members understand how this plays out-both sides of the issues are given an opportunity to explain what happened and a jury of other community members makes a decision. Yet, this right is under attack. Big interests, including nursing home companies, the insurance industry, pharmaceutical companies, big tobacco, and others are trying to limit access to the jury and then limit what the jury can decide. Each Chicago nursing home abuse lawyer at our firm believes that we must stand up against these invidious attacks on a bedrock system of justice in our country. Fairness, safety, and responsible must be defended.

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