Law School Case Brief
Myers v. Heritage Enters. - 332 Ill. App. 3d 514
The Survival Act does not create a statutory cause of action and instead allows a representative of the decedent to maintain those statutory or common-law actions that had already accrued to the decedent prior to the decedent's death, e.g., an action brought under the Nursing Home Care Act, 210 Ill. Comp. Stat. 45/1-101 to 45/3A-101(West 2000).
Michael B. Myers, independent executor of the estate of Mary Prillmayer, deceased, sued Heritage Enterprises, Inc. (Heritage), alleging that Prillmayer, before her death, suffered fractures to her legs due to the careless and negligent acts of Heritage’s employees. Accordingly, in the second count, Myers sought recovery from Heritage for a statutory violation of the Nursing Home Care Act, 210 Ill. Comp. 45/1-101 to 45/3A-201(Act). Heritage argued that no provision of the Act allowed for a cause of action to survive a nursing home resident's death. The trial court agreed with Heritage. It concluded that, as the Act was in derogation of Illinois common law, it had to be strictly construed. It then found that, as the legislature did not mention a survival cause of action under the Act, one did not exist under it.
Was Heritage’s argument that no provision of the Act allowed for a cause of action to survive a nursing home resident's death meritorious?
The appellate court found the Survival Act, 755 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/27-6 (West 2000), did not involve a cause of action, but merely allowed a common law or statutory cause of action that accrued to survive a decedent's death, including one brought under the Act.
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