A Jacksonville, Illinois nursing home was sued by our Illinois injury law firm for causing the death of a patient. The suit was brought on behalf a Quincy, Illinois family in Jacksonville (Morgan County), Illinois.
Our suit claimed that the nursing home violated the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act and the Illinois Wrongful Death Act in causing a patient’s death. The patient had been in an auto accident near Quincy (Adams County), Illinois, and was initially treated at two area hospitals. She was then transperred to a nursing home.
The patient was breathing through a tracheostomy in her neck. Because of the severe injuries, she would pull at her breathing tube. On several occasions she was able to pull out this tube causing her to almost die. Instead of instituting one on one surveillance or wrist restraints, the nursing home used drugs and mitts. Both were found to be ineffective in stopping the resident from pulling off the breathing tube on several occasions.
Finally, the patient was found without her trache breathing tube inserted and died. Our suit claimed that wrist restraints or one on one supervision should have been used. Expert testimony from a nurse and family physician supported the claim.
In Illinois, all nursing homes must follow the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act which states that residents have basic rights and they cannot be the subject of neglect. Nurses must uphold the standard of care of acting as a reasonable careful nurse when attending to a resident at a nursing home. Too many times residents are just given an anti-anxiety drug and left uncared for. Sadly, this was the case here.
Damages for this conduct can include medical cost for treatment, funeral expenses, money damages for the pain and suffering of the resident up to her death, and losses to the heirs for loss of support, love and affection.
Our firm has handled many nursing home cases as well as medical malpractice cases. If you or your family have suffered because the nursing home neglect or medical error, please call us at 618-462-1077.
In 2002, Andrew Schneider and Phillip O’Connor wrote an article in the St. Louis Dispatch entitled, “Nation’s Nursing Homes are Quietly Killing Thousands.” In this article they discuss how thousands of elderly Americans have died due to neglect in nursing homes. Bed sores, malnutrition, and dehydration are the main causes of death in these nursing home neglect cases. All of these problem can easily be solved. In one case a man named Donald Mallory, lost 40 pounds in a 37-day stay in the former Claywest Nursing Home in St. Charles. Court records say that 60 year old Mallory, was dehydrated, malnourished, and severely infected with bedsores when he died. Doctors who reviewed Mallory’s medical records for a lawsuit said neglect caused his death. This is only one of thousands of cases of easily avoidable deaths.
Louisiana Sen. John Breaux, a Democrat and chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, called deaths from nursing home neglect “a hidden problem.” Investigations by his staff and other research show that 500,000 to 5 million cases of elderly neglect and abuse take place in institutions and private homes each year, although about 80 percent go unreported.
In this article, the Post-Dispatch examined the death certificates and the physicians’ evaluations of 55 nursing home residents in Missouri and Illinois who died in the past two years and whose relatives decided to sue for neglect. The newspaper found that the cause of death listed on the certificate differed from what physicians said the medical records actually showed in 42 of the 55 cases. In 40 of these cases, the nursing homes involved agreed to a settlement with the family before trial or were found in civil proceedings to have committed neglect.
If you see any of the following signs of elderly abuse in nursing homes, they should be immediately investigated:
- Unexplained bruises, cuts, burns, sprains, or fractures in various stages of healing.
- Bedsores or frozen joints.
- Unexplained venereal disease or genital infections; vaginal or anal bleeding; torn, stained, or bloody underclothing.
- Sudden changes in behavior.
- Staff refusing to allow visitors to see resident or delays in allowing visitors to see resident.
- Staff not allowing resident to be alone with visitor.
- Resident being kept in an over-medicated state.
- Loss of resident’s possessions.
- Sudden large withdrawals from bank accounts or changes in banking practices.
- Abrupt changes in will or other financial documents.
If you suspect that a loved one has been neglected at a nursing home, please call us for a free consultation at 618-426-1077. Someone needs to stand up for your loved one and, at WWF&G, we have valuable experience in nursing home neglect cases. Get your loved ones the safety and care that they deserve.
Whispering Oaks Nursing Home, a residential care facility in Wildwood, Missouri, was shut down Monday night after county officials found the site in appalling conditions. Late Sunday night, county fire officials were alerted that the well water stores supplying the nursing home had frozen. According to a press release from County Executive Charles A. Dooley, by the time public officials arrived on Monday, they found “no running water, overflowing toilets, human waste on the floor and a fire risk caused by an inoperable sprinkler system.”
It is estimated that 40-50 patients are currently in care at the facility. The state health department will be assisting in efforts to relocate patients to nearby nursing homes.
Whispering Oaks has a history of violations with the state that range from failures to meet safe drinking water standards to reports of staff abuse by patients. The National Center on Elder Abuse suggests that only 1 in 14 incidents of neglect come to the attention of authorities.
If you suspect that a loved one has been neglected at a nursing home, please call us for a Free Consultation at 618-426-1077. Someone needs to stand up for your loved one and, at WWF&G, we have valuable experience in nursing home neglect cases.
On Tuesday, a former nursing home worker was formally charged with financial exploitation. Authorities believe the employee of Hitz Memorial Home in Alhambra Illinois may have made unauthorized purchases with a resident’s credit card and withdrawn money from their bank account.
The employee has been under investigation since December when she resigned from the nursing home. Prior to her resignation, she claimed to have medical conditions that had prompted both local residents and a local church to give her donations. Other employees found these claims suspicious and when confronted about them, the employee chose to resign.
Later in December, a resident discovered several expensive, unauthorized purchases had been made with their credit card. Detectives soon found that not only had the employee purchased furniture and a television with the credit card but she had also forged the resident’s signature to make withdrawals totaling close to $16,000 from several bank accounts.
The National Center on Elder Abuse has found that reports of abuse and exploitation have risen steadily over the last two decades. However, current estimates say that only 1 in 25 cases of financial exploitation are actually reported, suggesting there may be up to 5 million cases of financial abuse each year.
If you suspect that a loved one has been neglected at a nursing home, please call us for a free consultation at 618-426-1077. Someone needs to stand up for your loved one and, at WWF&G, we have valuable experience in nursing home neglect cases.
The Madison County Coroner’s office, headed by Stephen P. Noon, announced last week that it is establishing a multi-disciplinary team to help shed new light on the problem of elderly abuse. Comprised of members from law enforcement agencies, social services, law, and health care, the group is responsible for reviewing cases involving alleged exploitation, neglect or abuse of the elderly.
The coroner’s office believes there are two benefits to such a team: identifying trends and information about abuse as well as examining cases more effectively because of the varying backgrounds of the team members. This team is the first of its kind in the area, and only the second in the state of Illinois. With a large elderly population living in Madison County, it seemed like the ideal place for the next review team.
According to the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (NCPEA) elderly abuse can come in multiple forms. From physical abuse to psychological abuse, it is estimated that 4-6% of the elderly are abused nation wide.
If you suspect that a loved one has been neglected at a nursing home, please call us for a Free Consultation at 618-426-1077. At WWF&G, we have valuable experience in nursing home neglect cases, and aggressively pursue these cases on behalf of those injured. Our firm currently has numerous neglect claims pending, including cases involving bed sores, disabling injuries from falls, and other injuries from neglectful treatment.