History of Attorney’s Fees Under the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act
In the Winter 2020 edition of Trial Journal magazine, Levin & Perconti partners Margaret P. Battersby Black and Michael F. Bonamarte IV shared their review of how the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act provides for attorney’s fees and costs to successful litigants. In the article, the attorneys discuss the uncertainty many plaintiff’s attorneys have about the calculation of fees and costs allowed when taking on nursing home cases. This ambiguity has existed since Berlak v. Villa Scalabrini Home for the Aging, Inc., one of the first cases to interpret the statutory attorney’s fees provision of the Act, finding them mandatory.
- The requirement that the licensee pay the prevailing resident’s attorney’s fees is mandatory as evidenced by the legislature’s use of the word “shall” in the statute. Ordinarily, the use of the word “shall” in a statute is indicative of a mandatory legislative intent.