In two separate cases, CCL replied today to state briefs defending the Illinois governor's authority to grant immunity to nursing homes that allegedly did nothing different than they normally do for "rendering assistance" to the state in the pandemic, pointing out that nothing in state law provides that type of extraordinary authority to the executive.

     The dispute arises in two cases in which nursing home residents died after the homes failed to take any relevant precautions to protect the residents from COVID-19. In seeking dismissal of negligence allegations against them, the homes' invoked a temporary executive order from Illinois Governor JB Pritzker that asked health-care providers to render assistance to the state's efforts to combat the pandemic and granted immunity from negligence liability in return.

      CCL argued that the Illinois Emergency Management Agency Act does not provide the authority claimed by the governor and does not allow him to unilaterally suspend the Illinois Nursing Home Reform Act, particularly where no assistance was rendered to the State. As a result, the grant of immunity violated separation of powers, equal protection, and due process. Moreover, it constitutes a form of special legislation by providing improper economic favoritism without justification.