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7th Circuit affirms District Court in long-running nursing home litigation

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More than a decade’s worth of litigation was tied up in a 21-page opinion from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday, which affirmed decisions in favor of a landowner against the owners of a nursing home lessee.

The panel ruled in Lock Realty Corp. IX v. U.S. Health LP, et al, 11-3477, 11-3570 and 12-1334, that the District Court for the Northern District of Indiana in South Bend had ruled correctly in matters that both parties raised in three appeals. “We are presented with a potpourri of issues covering everything from the propriety of a partial summary judgment in Lock’s favor to the district court’s attorneys’ fee decision,” Judge Diane Wood wrote for the unanimous panel. “On the merits, we find no reversible error in the various rulings … and so we affirm.”

In sum, Lock was awarded $1,359,345 in damages and $818,267 in costs. Lock prevailed on claims that U.S. Health assigned the lease to Americare Living Centers III, LLC without its knowledge; that U.S. Health had violated a provision of the lease to fund a replacement reserve; and that U.S. Health had breached its lease contract for nonpayment of rent.

While the 7th Circuit upheld the District Court rulings in the multiple appeals, it did so with disfavor of rulings that sometimes took a year or more.

“It is unfortunate that this litigation spun so far out of control,” Wood wrote. “The long delays that punctuated the course of proceedings, even if motivated by hopes of reaching settlement or at least an agreed way to move forward, in the end helped no one. As we said at the outset, the issues before us now represent the end of the line. The district court did not abuse its discretion in the rulings brought before us for review. We therefore affirm the judgments of the district court in all three appeals. Costs are to be taxed against U.S. Health and Americare.”



 

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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