Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, First Division
from the Circuit Court of Cook County 16 L 496 The Honorable
William E. Gomolinski, Judge Presiding.
JUSTICE MIKVA delivered the judgment of the court, with
opinion. Presiding Justice Pierce and Justice Griffin
concurred in the judgment and opinion.
1 Appellant and the plaintiff in this case, James Kero,
appeals from an order of the circuit court that granted a
motion by one of the defendants, Symphony of Lincoln Park,
LLC to compel arbitration of the negligence claims that Mr.
Kero had filed against it, and denied Mr. Kero's motion
to reconsider the court's prior order striking two of his
claims against Symphony for intentional misconduct. On
appeal, Mr. Kero argues that the court's enforcement of
the arbitration agreement was wrong for two reasons: (1)
Symphony was not a party to the arbitration agreement and (2)
Mr. Kero signed the agreement under duress. Mr. Kero also
argues that the court improperly struck the intentional
misconduct claims against Symphony and his notice of appeal
references another circuit court order. For the following
reasons, we affirm.
2 I. BACKGROUND
3 On June 29, 2017, Mr. Kero and his wife, Pamela Kero, who
is not a party to this appeal (collectively, the Keros),
filed their fourth amended complaint and the operative
complaint in this appeal against Symphony and various other
defendants who are not parties to this appeal- including
Sharon Palacios, R.N., Northwestern Medicine, Northwestern
Memorial Hospital, Northwestern Memorial Healthcare, and
Yasser Farid, M.D. The factual background relevant to this
appeal is as follows.
4 The Keros alleged that Mr. Kero was a patient of
Symphony's rehabilitation facility in July 2016. He was
injured during his stay when, on July 19, and again on July
31, 2016, he fell out of his bed. The Keros alleged two
counts of negligence and two counts of intentional misconduct
against Symphony. On June 30, 2017, the circuit court struck
the intentional misconduct counts.
5 On July 20, 2017, Symphony filed a motion to compel
arbitration and to dismiss the negligence counts of the
Keros' complaint under section 2-619(a)(9) of the Code of
Civil Procedure (Code) (735 ILCS 5/2-619(a)(9) (West 2016)).
Symphony argued that a valid arbitration agreement existed
between the parties, that the agreement required Mr. Kero to
arbitrate claims of negligence, and that, "using its
then operative name 'Imperial Grove Pavilion, '"
Symphony was a party to the arbitration agreement that Mr.
Kero had signed.
6 Symphony attached Mr. Kero's admission packet to the
motion, which included the admission contract and the
arbitration agreement. The admission contract, signed by Mr.
Kero on May 12, 2016, indicates that it was between Mr. Kero
as the "resident" and "The Imperial Grove
Pavilion" as the "facility." Mr. Kero's
initials are on multiple pages of the contract and his name
is printed and signed as the resident.
7 The "Health Care Arbitration Agreement"
(arbitration agreement) lists "The Imperial Grove
Pavilion" as the "facility," and then states
that the facility "includes the particular facility
where the Resident resides, its parents, affiliates, and
subsidiary companies, owners, officers, directors, medical
directors, employees, successors, assigns, agents, attorney
and insurers." It further provides:
"In the event of any claim arising out of (1) any
dispute between you and us, (2) any dispute relating to
services rendered for any condition, (3) injuries alleged to
have been received by patient, *** (4) services rendered for
any condition and arising out of the diagnosis, treatment or
care of patient, and (5) collection proceedings in excess of
$50, 000.00, the claim will be submitted to binding
arbitration pursuant to the provisions of this health care
Resident certifies that Resident has read this agreement and
has legal representation regarding thereto or has been given
the right to have this agreement reviewed by Resident's
Resident has signed this Agreement of Resident's free
will and not under duress of any nature and fully accepts the
8 At the bottom, just above Mr. Kero's signature, the
arbitration agreement states:
"AGREEMENT TO ARBITRATE HEALTH CARE NEGLIGENCE ...