Lawyers at DBMS successfully litigate a wide variety of civil cases and argue appeals in some of the most challenging jurisdictions in the country.

Appellate Institutional Liability

Plaintiff v. Defendant Supportive Living Facility


Defendant Supportive Living Facility


Appellate court victory.


Karen DeGrand, Michael Borree and Meagan VanderWeele secured a First District appellate victory in which the appellate court ruled that an arbitration agreement entered into by plaintiff’s decedent before she moved into defendant’s supportive living facility was enforceable and required dismissal of plaintiff’s state court negligence claims.

In 2017, the estate of the deceased brought claims for negligence against the defendant facility pursuant to the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur and Illinois’ Survival Act. The supportive living facility moved to compel arbitration and to dismiss plaintiff’s state court claims on the basis that those claims were subject to an arbitration agreement entered into by the decedent before she moved into the facility. The circuit court denied defendant’s motion and refused to enforce the arbitration agreement.

DBMS filed an interlocutory appeal on behalf of the defendant facility. In its decision, the First District agreed with the defendant and reversed the circuit court by compelling plaintiff’s negligence claims to arbitration and dismissing the state court action.  The First District’s decision finds that the arbitration agreement was neither substantively nor procedurally unconscionable.  Further, the appellate court found that adequate consideration existed to support the parties’ agreement to arbitrate disputes.  The arbitration provision was determined to be enforceable, and the First District reversed the circuit court’s denial of the supportive living facility’s motion to compel arbitration.