Springwood Associates v. Lumpkin, No. 4-92-0325

CourtUnited States Appellate Court of Illinois
Writing for the CourtKNECHT
Citation239 Ill.App.3d 771,179 Ill.Dec. 901,606 N.E.2d 733
Decision Date30 December 1992
Docket NumberNo. 4-92-0325
Parties, 179 Ill.Dec. 901 SPRINGWOOD ASSOCIATES, d/b/a Maplewood Health Care Center, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. John R. LUMPKIN, Director Of The Illinois Department Of Public Health, Defendant-Appellee.

Page 733

606 N.E.2d 733
239 Ill.App.3d 771, 179 Ill.Dec. 901
SPRINGWOOD ASSOCIATES, d/b/a Maplewood Health Care Center,
Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
John R. LUMPKIN, Director Of The Illinois Department Of
Public Health, Defendant-Appellee.
No. 4-92-0325.
Appellate Court of Illinois,
Fourth District.
Dec. 30, 1992.

[239 Ill.App.3d 772] Daniel Maher, Stratton, Dobbs & Nardulli, Springfield, for plaintiff-appellant.

Roland W. Burris, Atty. Gen., Rosalyn B. Kaplan, Sol. Gen., Jan E. Hughes, Asst. Atty. Gen., Chicago, for defendant-appellee.

Justice KNECHT delivered the opinion of the court:

Springwood Associates (Springwood) owns and operates the Maplewood Health Care Center (Maplewood), a private nursing home licensed and regulated by the Department of Public Health (Department) pursuant to the Nursing Home Care Act (Act) (Ill.Rev.Stat.1989, ch. 111 1/2, par. 4151-101 et seq.). During the course of an annual inspection, the Department made findings that Springwood failed to meet the minimum standards prescribed by the Department. On review of the findings, the Department issued two Type B violations (see 77 Ill.Adm.Code § 300.274(b)(2), at 2697 (1991)) and eight administrative warnings (see 77 Ill.Adm.Code § 300.277, at 2699 (1991)). Springwood contested the issuance of one of the Type B violations dealing with the availability of water in excess of 110 degrees Fahrenheit at shower, bathing and handwashing facilities. (77 Ill.Adm.Code [239 Ill.App.3d 773] § 330.3130(c)(4), at 2817 (1991) (eff. Mar. 24, 1989).) A hearing officer found the Type B violation was appropriate. Associate Director Bell adopted the finding of the hearing officer. Springwood sought administrative review in the circuit court of Sangamon County, which affirmed the decision of the Department.

Page 734

[179 Ill.Dec. 902] Springwood appeals, raising two arguments: (1) the Department of Public Health cannot issue a violation against a nursing home for a violation of the Act, absent negligent conduct on the part of the facility (Ill.Rev.Stat.1989, ch. 111 1/2, par. 4151-117); and (2) the Department violated its own regulations because Springwood was not afforded the opportunity to review a proposed order and submit written exceptions and a brief before the Associate Director, who had reviewed the record, issued a final decision. Both arguments are unpersuasive in light of applicable statutes, regulations, and case law. We affirm the circuit court.

The Act provides private nursing homes must be licensed by the Department. (Ill.Rev.Stat.1989, ch. 111 1/2, par. 4153-102.) The Department is authorized to develop a comprehensive system of licensure of nursing homes (Ill.Rev.Stat.1989, ch. 111 1/2, par. 4153-101), required to provide minimum standards for nursing homes (Ill.Rev.Stat.1989, ch. 111 1/2, par. 4153-202), and empowered to adopt rules and regulations in order to carry out the purposes of the Act (Ill.Rev.Stat.1989, ch. 111 1/2, par. 4153-801).

The Department is required to conduct annual inspections of nursing homes to ensure compliance with applicable licensure requirements and standards. (Ill.Rev.Stat.1989, ch. 111 1/2, par. 4153-212(a).) The inspections are conducted by Department sanitarians. When the sanitarian discovers failures on the part of a nursing home to comply with applicable requirements and standards, he or she makes notations of the failures in a report. Upon completion of each inspection, the sanitarian must submit a copy of the report to the nursing home and the original to the Department. The nursing home may, within 10 days, provide comments or documentation refuting findings in the report, explaining extenuating circumstances which the nursing home could not have prevented, or indicating methods and timetables for correction of deficiencies described in the report. Ill.Rev.Stat.1989, ch. 111 1/2, par. 4153-212(c).

The Department must then determine whether the report's findings constitute a violation of which the facility must be given notice. This determination is based upon a list of criteria, set forth in both the Act and the regulations. (Ill.Rev.Stat.1989, ch. 111 1/2, par. 4153-212(c); 77 Ill.Adm.Code. § 300.272(c), at 2696 (1991).) If the issuance[239 Ill.App.3d 774] of a violation is warranted, the next step is to determine the level of the violation. 77 Ill.Adm.Code § 300.274 at 2696-98 (1991).

There are two levels of violations defined by the Act. (See Ill.Rev.Stat.1989, ch. 111 1/2, pars. 4151-129, 4151-130; see also 77 Ill.Adm.Code § 300.274(b), at 2697 (1991).) A "Type A violation" is a more serious violation than a "Type B violation." In determining the level of the violation, the Department must consider (1) the designated level of the violation in the regulation, (2) the degree of danger posed by it, and (3) the directness and imminence of the danger to the residents. (77 Ill.Adm.Code § 300.274(c), at 2697 (1991).) The degree of danger and its directness and imminence to residents are determined by applying a list of criteria set forth in the regulations. 77 Ill.Adm.Code §§ 300.274(c)(2), (c)(3), at 2697-98 (1991).

After the level of the violation is determined, the nursing home must be provided with a notice of violation. (Ill.Rev.Stat.1989, ch. 111 1/2, par. 4153-301.) If the nursing home wishes to contest any Department action, it must send a written request for a hearing to the Department within 10 days of receipt of the contested action. (Ill.Rev.Stat.1989, ch. 111 1/2, par. 4153-303(e).) Upon receipt for a request for a hearing, the Director or hearing officer must conduct a hearing to review the action. (Ill.Rev.Stat.1989, ch. 111 1/2, par. 4153-704(a).) After the hearing, the Director or hearing officer must make findings of fact. When the hearing has been conducted by a hearing officer, the Director must review the record and findings of fact before rendering a decision. (Ill.Rev.Stat.1989, ch. 111 1/2, par. 4153-707.) If the Director does not either preside at the hearing or review the record, and the decision is adverse to any party other than the Department, the Director must provide all parties with a copy of the proposed decision

Page 735

[179 Ill.Dec. 903] and the party which will be adversely affected must be afforded an opportunity to file written exceptions and a brief. (77 Ill.Adm.Code §§ 100.14(c), 100.15, at 2347-48 (1991).) "Director" is defined by both the Act and the regulations as the named Director of the Department, or his designee. Ill.Rev.Stat.1989, ch. 111 1/2, par. 4151-110; 77 Ill.Adm.Code § 100.2, at 2337 (1991).

In the present case the annual inspection of Maplewood was conducted on September 6 and 7, 1990, by Department sanitarians Pat Fisher and Stephen Mott. Fisher and Mott made findings of 10 failures to comply with applicable standards and regulations. One of the findings resulted from Fisher's discovery of water temperatures in excess of 110 degrees Fahrenheit in five locations on September 6 and three locations on September 7.

[239 Ill.App.3d 775] Fisher testified that, on September 6, she discovered water temperatures ranging from 124 to 128 degrees. She notified the maintenance supervisor, Melvin Grover, that the water temperatures were too high. Fisher further testified that when she took the water temperatures again on the morning of September 7, she discovered water temperatures of 132 degrees in two locations and a temperature of 115 degrees in one location. Fisher notified Lisa Hernadez, the administrator, and informed her the water needed to be turned off until the problem could be fixed.

Mott testified he was with Fisher when she discovered the high temperatures. Both Fisher and Mott testified the locations of the excessive water temperatures were in heavily trafficked areas of the nursing home; additionally, the residents were ambulatory and appeared confused. Fisher and Mott heard no announcements warning of the hot water; no signs were posted and the access to the areas was not restricted. Both Fisher and Mott testified the problem had been fixed or the system shut down, before they left on September 7. The sanitarians testified they could not have left the facility if the water temperatures continued to exceed 130 degrees. Fisher additionally testified she had informed both Hernandez and Grover that the sanitarians could not leave until the problem had been addressed.

Grover testified he worked five days a week at Maplewood, taking and recording the temperatures throughout the nursing home on the days he worked. Grover testified he checked the water temperatures on the mornings of September 6 and 7, and the temperatures were not in excess of 110 degrees. Grover accompanied Fisher and Mott on September 6 and was present when Fisher discovered the excessive temperatures in several locations. Grover checked the temperatures after Fisher, and his thermometer also registered excessive temperatures. Grover testified he made adjustments to the water heater in Fisher's and Mott's presence, and 15 minutes later both he and Fisher rechecked the temperatures, which had fallen to 104 degrees. Fisher and Mott have no recollection of witnessing adjustments to the water heater or rechecking temperatures on September 6. Grover additionally testified that on September 7, he shut off the water when instructed to do so by the sanitarian or administrator and placed a sign on the door.

Hank Koolanki, a supervisor at Capes and Son, testified an electrician from Capes replaced the mixing valve on a water heater at the nursing home on September 7, 1990. Koolanki testified it is impossible to know in advance that a mixing valve is going to break. The first sign of a problem is fluctuation in water temperature.

[239 Ill.App.3d 776] Fisher and Mott provided Lisa Hernandez, the administrator, with a copy of their findings before leaving Maplewood. Hernandez provided comments to the Department. Mott made additional comments and recommended a Type B...

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5 practice notes
  • Eads v. Heritage Enterprises, Inc., No. 92691.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Illinois
    • 21 février 2003
    ...home residents themselves are in the best position to know of and seek redress for violations. See Springwood Associates v. Lumpkin, 239 Ill.App.3d 771, 777, 179 Ill.Dec. 901, 606 N.E.2d 733 (1992). Under section 3-601 of the Act, owners and licensees of a facility are liable to a resident ......
  • Eads v. Heritage Enterprises, Inc., No. 4-99-0954.
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • 26 septembre 2001
    ...184 (statements of Senator Berning). Its purpose is to provide protection for nursing home residents. Springwood Associates v. Lumpkin, 239 Ill.App.3d 771, 777, 179 Ill.Dec. 901, 606 N.E.2d 733, 736 (1992). The Nursing Home Act provides two methods of implementing this goal. First, private ......
  • Welch v. Hoeh, No. 3-98-0877.
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • 7 juillet 2000
    ...It is common practice for an agency official to delegate specific responsibilities to a subordinate. Springwood Associates v. Lumpkin, 239 Ill.App.3d 771, 784, 179 Ill.Dec. 901, 606 N.E.2d 733 (1992). Moreover, the appellate court has interpreted "Director" to refer to the named d......
  • Alden Nursing Center-Morrow, Inc. v. Lumpkin, CENTER--MORRO
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • 17 mars 1994
    ...(Ill.Rev.Stat.1989, ch. 111 1/2, par. 4153-212(c); 77 Ill.Adm.Code § 300.272(c) (1991); Springwood Associates v. Lumpkin (1992), 239 Ill.App.3d 771, 780, 179 Ill.Dec. 901, 606 N.E.2d 733.) The preventative or remedial measures undertaken by the home do not automatically preclude the issuanc......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
5 cases
  • Eads v. Heritage Enterprises, Inc., No. 92691.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Illinois
    • 21 février 2003
    ...home residents themselves are in the best position to know of and seek redress for violations. See Springwood Associates v. Lumpkin, 239 Ill.App.3d 771, 777, 179 Ill.Dec. 901, 606 N.E.2d 733 (1992). Under section 3-601 of the Act, owners and licensees of a facility are liable to a resident ......
  • Eads v. Heritage Enterprises, Inc., No. 4-99-0954.
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • 26 septembre 2001
    ...184 (statements of Senator Berning). Its purpose is to provide protection for nursing home residents. Springwood Associates v. Lumpkin, 239 Ill.App.3d 771, 777, 179 Ill.Dec. 901, 606 N.E.2d 733, 736 (1992). The Nursing Home Act provides two methods of implementing this goal. First, private ......
  • Welch v. Hoeh, No. 3-98-0877.
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • 7 juillet 2000
    ...It is common practice for an agency official to delegate specific responsibilities to a subordinate. Springwood Associates v. Lumpkin, 239 Ill.App.3d 771, 784, 179 Ill.Dec. 901, 606 N.E.2d 733 (1992). Moreover, the appellate court has interpreted "Director" to refer to the named director of......
  • Alden Nursing Center-Morrow, Inc. v. Lumpkin, CENTER--MORRO
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • 17 mars 1994
    ...(Ill.Rev.Stat.1989, ch. 111 1/2, par. 4153-212(c); 77 Ill.Adm.Code § 300.272(c) (1991); Springwood Associates v. Lumpkin (1992), 239 Ill.App.3d 771, 780, 179 Ill.Dec. 901, 606 N.E.2d 733.) The preventative or remedial measures undertaken by the home do not automatically preclude the issuanc......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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