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About Us

One of the main areas we practice at the Law Offices of Barry G. Doyle, P.C. is nursing home abuse and neglect cases. When potential new clients contact us regarding the poor care that their family member received in a nursing home, one of the questions we ask is, "Have you filed a complaint with the Illinois Department of Public Health?" The answer to this almost always is, no, they didn't know how. We started researching the process and discovered that there was no easy way to submit a nursing home complaint to the Department of Public Health. There is no page at IPDH which accepts on-line submissions and there is no published address where complaints could be submitted.

To correct this problem, we created this site – to make it easy to submit complaints to the Department of Public Health on-line. When you complete the form, the information on the form is submitted to the e-mail address at the Department of Public Health that we obtained. We are aware of at least two instances where the Department of Public Health cited the nursing home for poor care based on the complaint that was submitted through our site.

We have found that investigations conducted by the Department of Public Health are often helpful in later civil lawsuits, even if the poor care does not result in a citation by the State. The investigation usually results in the State obtaining statements and copies of the chart which cannot be changed during a later civil lawsuit.

There are two attorneys who prosecute nursing home abuse and neglect cases:

Barry G Doyle

"I devote a substantial portion of my practice to the representation of the victims of nursing home abuse and neglect."

The oldest of three boys, I grew up in Evanston Illinois and was interested in law from an early age. This is mostly due to meeting many of the professors my father worked with director of the law library at Loyola University Chicago.

In 1987 I graduated Evanston Township High School where a left Illinois to complete my undergraduate degree in political science at University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. After graduation in 1991, I attended Loyola University Chicago School of Law where I excelled academically and finished 11th in my class. I was dean's list every semester, received American Jurisprudence Awards for my academic performance in Criminal Law, Insurance Law, First Amendment, and Federal.

During law school, I worked as a law clerk at some of the most prominent plaintiff's law firms in Chicago. There, as well as in academics, I proved that I am skilled in identify the legal theories to allow injured people to receive fair compensation for injuries they suffered resulting from misconduct of others. Most importantly, I learned that I enjoy being able to assist families who find themselves in the most difficult circumstances in their greatest time of need. I graduated law school and chose to enter the fiend of personal injury.

I opened my law firm in 2004 and made two commitments to my clients: to creatively and assertively represent them, and to make sure they fully understand their cases. Today I focus my practice solely on complex personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits and represent victims and their families who have been wronged through the negligence of others. I have not and will not represent insurance companies.

I strongly believe that our legal system must protect our most vulnerable citizens. This often time is the elderly and residents of Illinois nursing homes. Thus I devote a substantial portion of my practice to representing victims of nursing home abuse and neglect.

  • Past co-chair of Tort (Personal Injury) Litigation Committee of the Chicago Bar Association
  • Past Adjunct Professor of Law at Loyola University Chicago School of Law
  • Active member of Nursing Home Litigation Group of American Association for Justice where I regularly attend continuing legal education seminars addressing issue of special concern to nursing home residents and their families
  • Published author of 8 books and have written on topics such as Illinois nursing home abuse and neglect, wrongful death litigations, accident reconstruction, causation in personal injury cases, and insurance bad faith litigation
  • Lecturer at continued legal education seminars for lawyers

I'm also devoted to my beautiful family. After getting married to my wife Sharon, I returned to Evanston where I currently reside about 4 blocks away from the house I grew up in. I have two beautiful children; a daughter, Caroline, and a son Patrick. I enjoy spending time with my family, sailing with friends during the summer and spending my Saturdays in the fall watching college football, especially my beloved Michigan Wolverines. (Sharon is embarrassed about the number of college football trivia questions I can answer correctly.)

Tamara R. Schaeffer

"First as a nurse and now as an attorney, I have dedicated my career to the service of those who are injured or sick and to the families that struggle through those difficult times."

I've had a passion for helping others since I was a young girl. Raised the daughter of a nurse in Southwest Illinois, I graduated from Metro East Lutheran High School and attended college at Deaconess College of Nursing in St. Louis, Missouri. After earning my Bachelor's Degree in Nursing, I worked as a nurse in an operating room for two years. There I discovered that not only am I good at helping people under pressure, I also want to be able to protect people, especially those who cannot protect themselves. This passion lead me to Southern Illinois University School of Law. During law school I continued to work within the intensive care unit in a hospital and in 2001, I earned my Doctorate of Jurisprudence.

After graduating, I spent 5 years practicing in civil defense representing large corporations and hospitals throughout all phases of litigation including trial and appeal. I gained a great deal of experience but I wanted my work to bring about positive change for those who really need it. In 2007, I relocated to Chicago and began my work in Patient Safety.

In 2011 I was honored to speak at:

  • The U.S. Department of Commerce's Quest for Excellence in Washington D.C.
  • The Tenth Annual Quality Colloquium at Harvard University
  • The 2011 Chicago Patient Safety Summit

First as a nurse and now as a Chicago nursing home lawyer, I have dedicated my career to serving the injured, sick, and their families who struggle though these times. I believe strongly in advocating for the rights of those who have been injured and the vulnerable who cannot protect themselves.

I believe our legal system is the best way to give a voice to the injured and to hold those who injure accountable for their actions. I believe holding them accountable forces lasting change on the way they conduct their affairs going forward.

We have achieved some notable case results including:

Awarded: $600,00: Substandard nursing care leads to amputation of resident's leg

We represented a nursing home resident whose leg was amputated after the nursing home staff failed to recognize the symptoms of a blood clot and failed to notify the resident's physician of the changes in her condition.

The resident fell in her room. After the fall, the resident was supposed to be on a 72-hour fall follow-up which required the nurse on each shift to do a head-to-toe assessment of the resident. The day after the fall, the nurses noted first that the tip of her big toe had turned blue. The next shift, the nurse saw that tip and side of the toe were blue; the shift after that, the entire big toe was blue. When the next nurse assessed her condition after that, the resident's leg was blue up to mid calf.

That nurse called the resident's doctor to advise her of the patient's condition, at which time, the doctor ordered the resident transferred to the emergency room where the staff determined that the tissue below the level of the clot had been deprived of oxygen too long and that it could not be saved, so amputation was necessary.

The theory of negligence against the nursing home was that the staff failed to recognize the symptoms of ischemia (tissue death due to lack of oxygen), including checking the discolored leg for loss of warmth and failed to notify the doctor of the changes in order to effectuate the transfer of the resident to the hospital.

The defense claimed that the nurses in fact checked the leg for warmth and it was normal and that they believed that the discoloration was actually a bruise coming from the fall. Further, detecting a change in warmth in the leg would have been difficult due to the resident's poor circulation to the leg from her diabetes. Complicating the chances of success was testimony from the patient's doctor that she would not have transferred the resident to the hospital any earlier had she been notified of the information in the resident's chart and state investigative file.

We reached a very favorable settlement for the resident who now resides in a different nursing home.

Awarded: $400,000: Nursing home fall results in hip fracture, pressure ulcers and death

We reached a settlement on behalf of the estate of a Naperville nursing home resident. She was admitted to the nursing home as a long-term placement after suffering a fractured ankle at home. Her assessment designated her as a fall risk, and part of her care plan called for assistance while walking. The nursing home's policy and procedures called for the use of a gait belt, or safety belt while walking. While she was being assisted by a CNA from the bathroom to her bed, the resident tripped on a carpet runner and fell, suffering a fractured hip. The CNA did not have the gait belt on the resident, in violation of the facility's policies and procedures, but had it on her on waist instead.

After returning from the hospital to repair the fractured hip, the resident developed Stage IV pressure ulcers, or bed sores, on both heels. The pressure ulcer on one heel became infected and in turn caused a bone infection, or osteomyelitis. The bone infection resulted in sepsis and death for the resident.

Awarded: $400,000: Fall during physical therapy at nursing home causes laceration & MRSA

We reached a settlement on behalf of a DuPage County nursing home resident who was admitted to the facility for a short-term rehabilitation stay. During physical therapy, she fell and suffered a laceration to her elbow. The fall happened due to the physical therapist failing to properly position herself to guard against the resident falling and failing to employ a gait belt, or safety belt. The laceration to the elbow became infected with MRSA. The MRSA organisms infected her heart, causing endocarditis, and her knee, causing septic arthritis. The illness resulted in a lengthy hospitalization and subsequent nursing home admission. The resident died later of unrelated causes.

Awarded: $125,000: Nursing home settlement after Stage IV pressure ulcer surgery goes wrong

The settlement for $125,000 was reached for the estate of a nursing home resident who died after undergoing a surgery to remove several Stage IV pressure ulcers. Evidence from discovery showed the nursing home did not notify the physician to obtain orders for caring for the pressure ulcers or did not detect them. The low-quality facility had a large number of claims pending against it. The agreed settlement represented a large portion of the insurance coverage available. (Cook County)

Awarded: $120,000: Weight loss leads to pressure ulcer

We reached a settlement on behalf of the estate of a resident of an Evanston nursing home. She had been dependent upon her husband visiting her in the nursing home and making sure that she was eating adequately. When her husband died suddenly due to a massive stroke, the staff failed to make sure that she was receiving adequate oral intake. The result was a 16 pound weight loss from 97 pounds to 81 pounds in one month. This is considered a significant unplanned weight loss. In addition to the weight loss, the failure of the staff to provide proper incontinence care and to turn and reposition her to prevent pressure ulcers resulted in the development of multiple Stage III pressure ulcers, all of which contributed to cause her death.

Awarded: $122,500: Bed Sore Lawsuit Settlement

The settlement was reached on behalf of the estate of a nursing home resident who developed bed sores during a series of short admissions to the defendant nursing home in addition to several hospital admissions. After the resident's family brought her home, her bed sores became infected necessitating surgery.

Many of our clients have also been glad to tell us how happy they were to have worked with us:

When I was looking for a lawyer I wasn't a happy camper but Barry was very comforting. When I had questions he would take the time to answer them and was very good at returning my calls. Barry was also the only lawyer who offered to see me in the nursing home. That meant a lot to me because I was very sick and unable to look for a lawyer and I did not want to hire a lawyer on the phone. I figured if a lawyer was serious he would come and see me. Barry knew his job very well and had a lot of details about nursing homes. That put me at ease. He was also very kind and gave me a ride to my settlement conference. I think people need to know that there is no harm in suing to recover what you lost when you've been hurt. A lot of people think they don't have time to deal with a lawyer, but I didn't have to do anything. I've heard "it upsets me to talk about it," but really, it's no different than talking to a friend except your friend can't get you money! I would recommend Barry to others.

Roma Advaney

When we first contacted him, we really weren't sure on how to proceed with the case. I was on the internet, and Barry's information popped up. I called, and Barry listened to what I had to say. Our son was injured, he was our first priority, and Barry also made him his first priority, too. That was just awesome for us. Barry is easy to deal with, easy-going, and down to earth, just like a next-door neighbor. He is very easy to talk to, not intimidating at all, and definitely does his research. Barry kept us informed all the time. He'd explain things to us in just plain talk, not attorney talk. We entirely understood what was going on with our case. Barry gives lawyers a good name. We've dealt with lawyers who see you as a number and then with Barry who sees you as a person. He's the kind of lawyer you want to deal with.


I very much felt that I could rely on Barry. He answered all my questions and explained the strengths & weaknesses of my case. I understood everything he explained to me. I knew what was going on each step of the way and knew what to expect. I was not in the dark. I would recommend Barry to anyone who needs a lawyer because he made me feel very comfortable.


After my accident, I had been in and out of the hospital. My bills were piling up. I looked for an attorney, and Barry was the first attorney to return my call. He came to my house as I was recovering and went through everything with me. While everyone else I was dealing with seemed to be shuffling paper, Barry actually sat down and was interested in my end of it. He cared about what was going on with me, my life, the troubles I was having. And his staff was pleasant, professional, and organized. He kept me up to date with what was going on with the case, making the process quite a bit easier to deal with than what I expected. I told him what was going on and he took care of everything from the legal end of it. Barry laid it out, don't expect this, don't expect that, but we may be able to do this or that. And, he put it in layman's terms for me that I could understand. I was just hoping to avoid ending up under a ton of bills, but Barry managed to clear a lot of things up, take advantage of a lot of avenues for me that I just didn't know were there. I was very happy with the result and very surprised with how well it turned out.

Jerome Kelly

Working with Barry was easy. I asked a question on the internet, and I got a response from him. It was so easy, it was unreal. Barry explained what was going on with my case. Several times he advised me on the pluses and the minuses of the case, what could and couldn't happen. He knew what was going on, so I was really impressed. He made sure that we were on the same page. The case went quicker than I thought it would. It was like ‘wow, it's over, it's settled.' And, I was very pleased with the result. I have already recommended Barry as an attorney and I would again.

Brian A.

Barry is very good at communication. He knows what he is talking about and explains everything extremely well. He laid everything out, and I understood the strengths and weaknesses of my case. Whether I e-mailed or left a voicemail, Barry was always good about getting back to me. I was very comfortable having him take care of my case. His staff was very professional and pleasant. I was very pleased with the result based on what I've learned and what we did.

T. Kutz

Barry was very easy to deal with. He explained strengths and weaknesses of my case. I was very comfortable with him handling my case. My case moved along well. I was pleased with the result. I have already recommended Barry and would recommend him again. Barry is very easy to talk to and made a difficult process very comfortable for me. He was very clear, and succinct and precise.

Gerry Panzica

The best part about working with Barry was that he would always let me know what was going on. He would call or email me back right away and was always timely in responding to me. I never felt ignored or neglected. His staff was pleasant and professional. I could rely Barry and his staff.

Ana Gonzalez
Submit Your Claim Now
The submission process was easy to use and very straightforward. After submitting my complaint, I received confirmation from the Illinois Dept. of Public Health that they had received my complaint and would be investigating the nursing home.

-S.B., Filed nursing home complaint about Provena McAuley Manor in Aurora Illinois

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