Bookmark and Share



» Access to Courts and Court Remedies

» Campaign Finance and Election Laws

» Constitutional Rights and Requirements

» Health, Safety, and Environment

» Open Government and Open Courts

» Representing Consumers

» Workers' Rights

Currently Featured Topics

Government Transparency
Consumer Justice
First Amendment
Health, Safety and the Environment


Read about our work helping lawyers
with cases in the Supreme Court.


  Public Citizen | Litigation Cases ***Search other cases***

SSC Odin Operating Co. v. Carter

Topic(s): Arbitration
Docket: 12-1012



After her mother died in the care of a nursing home in Illinois, Sue Carter sued the nursing home for wrongful death. The nursing home sought to compel arbitration on the basis of an arbitration agreement signed when her mother was admitted to the home. The Illinois Supreme Court held that the arbitration agreement could not be enforced with respect to the wrongful death claim, because, under Illinois law, that claim belongs to the heirs, not to the decedent and Carter had not contracted with the nursing home to arbitrate her own claims. In February 2013, the nursing home sought Supreme Court review, arguing that Illinois’s definition of wrongful death claims violates the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) by making it harder for a surviving heir to be bound by a deceased person's contracts and therefore harder for companies to compel arbitration. Public Citizen worked with counsel for Carter to oppose the petition to the Supreme Court, arguing that state-law definitions of wrong death claims need not all be the same and that Illinois law does not violate the FAA because it does not single out arbitration for disfavored treatment. The Supreme Court denied the petition.

Copyright © 2017 Public Citizen. Some rights reserved. Non-commercial use of text and images in which Public Citizen holds the copyright is permitted, with attribution, under the terms and conditions of a Creative Commons License. This Web site is shared by Public Citizen Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation. Learn More about the distinction between these two components of Public Citizen.

Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation


Together, two separate corporate entities called Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation, Inc., form Public Citizen. Both entities are part of the same overall organization, and this Web site refers to the two organizations collectively as Public Citizen.

Although the work of the two components overlaps, some activities are done by one component and not the other. The primary distinction is with respect to lobbying activity. Public Citizen, Inc., an IRS § 501(c)(4) entity, lobbies Congress to advance Public Citizen’s mission of protecting public health and safety, advancing government transparency, and urging corporate accountability. Public Citizen Foundation, however, is an IRS § 501(c)(3) organization. Accordingly, its ability to engage in lobbying is limited by federal law, but it may receive donations that are tax-deductible by the contributor. Public Citizen Inc. does most of the lobbying activity discussed on the Public Citizen Web site. Public Citizen Foundation performs most of the litigation and education activities discussed on the Web site.

You may make a contribution to Public Citizen, Inc., Public Citizen Foundation, or both. Contributions to both organizations are used to support our public interest work. However, each Public Citizen component will use only the funds contributed directly to it to carry out the activities it conducts as part of Public Citizen’s mission. Only gifts to the Foundation are tax-deductible. Individuals who want to join Public Citizen should make a contribution to Public Citizen, Inc., which will not be tax deductible.


To become a member of Public Citizen, click here.
To become a member and make an additional tax-deductible donation to Public Citizen Foundation, click here.