Corley v. Rosewood Care Center, Inc.

142 F.3d 1041 (7th Cir. 1998)


P executed a contract on October 25, 1989, with D. That contract outlined the care D would provide to P's mother at D's Peoria nursing home. The contract was conditioned on D's guarantee P's mother would be provided a private suite for the duration of her stay. P also was promised that his mother would be provided a choice of two entrees at every meal and that she would be permitted to remain in the Peoria facility as a Medicaid patient even if she were to exhaust her personal resources. D also told P that in the event of a price increase, the differential between the rate for a private suite and the rate for a semi-private room would remain constant. P contends that D never had any intention of honoring these promises. Within two months, D began to implement the switch. D raised the rates for a private suite and only offered residents one entree choice at meals. If refused, she was served leftovers from the previous day. D then notified residents that its Peoria facility would not be honoring the promise of continuing care if residents should exhaust their personal resources and such residents would be required to relocate. P complains that D utilized the United States mails in furtherance of their scheme to defraud when they mailed the contracts and their notices of the changes. P alleges that similar acts of mail fraud were directed against other residents and their relatives. P alleges that the foregoing acts violated RICO. It is alleged that the racketeering enterprise is comprised of the various corporations controlled by individual defendants Larry Vander Maten and Darrell Hoefling. The corporations comprising the enterprise allegedly operate as a single unit under the direction and control of Vander Maten and Hoefling. Ds filed a motion to dismiss. In denying the motion, the court rejected defendants' arguments that certain of the predicate acts of mail fraud were insufficiently detailed in the complaint and that the acts alleged did not comprise a pattern of racketeering activity. Eventually, after a hearing, the court indicated it was inclined to grant Ds' summary judgment. P responded with a motion for additional discovery under Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(f), in which he asked the court to delay any ruling on the summary judgment motion until the parties had completed discovery. The court denied P's Rule 56(f) motion for additional discovery. The judge was replaced, and the new judge refused to consider P's state law claims, and he, therefore, dismissed those claims without prejudice. P appealed.