According to news reports, a lawsuit has been filed against a nursing home in Joliet relating to the death of a woman who resided at the nursing home in 2013. The lawsuit was filed by the administrator of the deceased’s estate. When a person dies, an administrator is charged with determining the assets of the deceased and distributing those assets in accordance with his or her wishes. The lawsuit was filed in Cook County Circuit Court.
The lawsuit alleges that the nursing home did not follow medical orders relating to the woman’s care, and this failure was a cause of her death. According to the lawsuit, the woman’s treating doctor ordered that she be turned every two hours while at the nursing home to avoid bed sores. The doctor also ordered that a specific cream be used for the same purpose.
However, the lawsuit states that there are no notes from the nursing home indicating that the deceased was ever turned or that the cream was used on her skin. Records from the nursing home indicate that the woman had two open sores on her skin, but there is no indication in the records that the sores were ever treated while she was a resident at the nursing home.
News reports state that as her condition deteriorated at the nursing home, the woman was taken to a local hospital due to dehydration and low blood pressure. At the hospital, she was diagnosed with one stage-four bedsore and one stage-two bedsore. Stage-two bedsores primarily involve damage to the outer layers of the skin, while stage-four bedsores are characterized by significant tissue damage wherein muscles, tendons, or even bones may be exposed. The sores were located on her sacrum and coccyx, which are two bones situated at the base of the spine. The hospital also noted that she may have been suffering from painful blood clots in her legs.
The woman died nine days after leaving the nursing home.
Nursing Homes May Be Liable for Abuse and Neglect
Everyone has had a loved one or has known someone end up in a nursing home at some time or another. Whether it was a spouse, parent, or grandparent, or another close family member, if he or she could no longer live at home and receive the appropriate level of care, a nursing home may have been the only viable option.
The number of elderly Americans currently residing in nursing homes is estimated to be over one-and-a-half million. With so many older Americans now calling these residences home, one would expect that the quality of care in nursing homes would keep up with the care provided in upper-echelon rehabilitation hospitals.
Unfortunately, the truth is that the corporations that own and operate nursing homes are often more concerned with the bottom line than resident safety. Costs are cut to maintain profitability, and residents suffer with less staff and overall services. The result is what one might expect: nursing home abuse and neglect.
Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect in Illinois
In Illinois, the Nursing Home Care Act is designed to ensure the safety and dignity of nursing home residents. The Act safeguards many basic rights, including the overall right to be free of abuse and neglect. The Act also requires that all treatment ordered by a resident’s physician be implemented and administered in a timely fashion.
If a resident or a resident’s family suspects that a physician’s orders are not being followed as prescribed, or that any other right guaranteed by the Act is being violated, a complaint may be filed with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). The IDPH is then charged with investigating the nursing home that is the subject of the complaint. Under the Act, a nursing home is not permitted to retaliate against a resident who is responsible for filing a complaint with the IDPH.
In addition to filing a complaint with the IDPH, a resident or resident’s family is permitted to sue a nursing home for negligence. Under Illinois law, nursing homes, like hospitals, must take reasonable care to ensure the safety and health of their residents. When a nursing home fails to meet this standard of care, and this causes an injury to a resident, it is called negligence. When a nursing home engages in negligence, it may be liable for damages, including compensation for pain and suffering. In Illinois, there is no limit on the amount of damages that may be awarded for pain and suffering.
Is It Possible That One of Your Loved Ones Has Been Abused or Neglected In a Nursing Home?
It is no doubt painful to confront the realization that a loved one may have been abused or neglected at a nursing home, but it simply must be done. Not only is the safety and dignity of your loved one at stake, other residents may be in danger as well. Nursing homes should not be allowed to get away with negligence in the name of profits. The lawyers at Moll Law Group understand how upsetting these situations can be, and we know how to ensure that your family members get the care and compensation they undoubtedly deserve. For a free consultation, call Moll Law Group at (312) 462-1700.
See More Posts:
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Fatal O’Fallon Truck Accident May Have Been Caused by Medical Emergency, Illinois Injury Lawyer Blog, October 18, 2015.