Q: Can you sue a John Doe or John Doe corporation as the Defendants in a nursing home neglect civil suit in Illinois?
My situation is, my mom fell or was dropped in a nursing home, a lawyer called me and said he was on the case 1y and 9m later he called and said he passed the case to another firm but that firm had no records and urged me to get the records which has pushed up to the deadline to file tomorrow. The lawyer never heard my mom's story and only have some of the records and the records they did research for a week found no pelvic injuries. I found the records.
My mom had surgery on her pelvis because it was fractured and bleeding internally. They seem to have missed this in the records because they act like i'm crazy and it didn't happen.
My mom could not walk or use legs from spinal injury, and was moved for dialysis, this was the 1st time in a new nursing home and they called me told me she fell and BP fell during dialysis and sent her to er, but didnt say fall to ER and took few days for them to find the injuries.
I want to sue a John Doe corporation as Defendants to buy time? Viable?
A: On your facts, the statute of limitations (SOL) is two years. You need to file on or before that date. No attorney or law firm was "on the case" unless your mother signed documents, hiring that attorney or that law firm. The SOL is all that matters. Whether your mother hired two attorneys or never hired any attorney has nothing to do with the SOL date. The only difference is that if your mother did hire a law firm or attorney and they missed the SOL, you would have a legal malpractice claim against that attorney or law firm. If the law firm failed to Order records, they cannot advise you of their oversight 24 hours before the filing deadline. As long as you have personal knowledge of the facts that you allege in the complaint, it doesn't matter that you are not in receipt of the supporting medical records at the time you file. By the time defendant is served and you have an initial status on the matter, it will be two or three months later. You must insist that the law firm draft and file a complaint to preserve your mother's SOL. They can refuse to represent her but even a week before the SOL, they cannot refuse to prepare a complaint for pro se filing. In other words, the law firm would draft the complaint and hand it to you or email it to you for you to file. This late in the game, you need to make them file it. If they do not want to represent your mother you may need to offer to pay the filing fee ($400 - $500) but the law firm would need to file the complaint, electronically, to prevent the SOL from running.
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