Detectives believe that a gunman may have killed eight people in a nursing home because his estranged wife was employed there. The 45-year-old man went on a terrifying rampage on a Sunday morning, killing seven nursing home residents and one nurse. He also wounded three other people. The ex-wife of the gunman said that he had violent tendencies. The gunman is charged with eight counts of first-degree murder and a charge of felony assault of a law enforcement officer. Many of the victims were elderly residents at the nursing home. Some had Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. The nursing home was closed after the attack so that authorities could gather evidence inside and out. To read more about the nursing home tragedy, please click the link.
Several residents of a local nursing home suffered repeated physical and sexual abuse at the hands of their fellow residents. State officials state that the nursing home management failed to stem or report any of this alleged abuse. Victims included both male and female residents at the nursing home which is on the federal government’s list of the nation’s most troubled nursing homes. Some residents targeted their neighbors still live in the 140-bed nursing home. Allegedly, nursing home employees didn’t prevent aggressive patients from striking time and again. The nursing home was also cited for problems with patient confidentiality, incomplete medication records, improper care for bedsores and not preventing residents from falling. The nursing home is own by the Milwaukee-based Extendicare Health Services Inc. Assault between nursing home residents happens all too often, including here in Chicago, Illinois. To read more about the failing nursing home, please click the link.
Levin & Perconti Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit against Alden Poplar Creek Rehabilitation and Health Care Center
Attorneys Steven Levin and Margaret Battersby of Levin & Perconti have filed a lawsuit against Alden Poplar Creek Rehabilitation and Health Care Center in Hoffman Estates. Levin & Perconti filed the lawsuit on behalf of Warren Osborn for the wrongful death of his 94-year-old mother, Mildred Osborn, who was a resident at the nursing home.
When admitted, Mildred was assessed at being as high risk for falls and accidents which required her to have supervision and assistance with activities of daily living. Attorney Steven Levin noted that, “Mildred could not get around independently; she had difficulty walking and needed assistance moving from her bed to wheelchair. She relied on the staff at Alden to help her with almost everything.” After an initial fall, the nursing home developed a plan so that she would not suffer anymore falls. However, she two more times and required hospitalization. Doctors diagnosed her with a laceration above her left eye, a hip fracture and a subarachnoid hemmorage, or bleeding around the brain. She passed away four days later an her autopsy listed her cause of death as being attributed to the injuries she sustained at Alden Poplar Creek.
“Falls can have devastating effects on older people, leading to serious injury or death,” said Steve Levin. “In Mildred’s case, the nursing home knew she was at risk for falls and allowed her to fall on several occasions. Even after these falls, they neglected to implement new precautions to prevent her from falling again, and failed to consistently implement the fall precautions that were already required. Mildred’s death could have been prevented if Alden had only taken the proper steps to ensure her safety.”
Three case workers with the department of social services are facing elderly abuse and neglect charges after leaving an elderly man in care of his ill-equipped daughter. The three employees were charged with misdemeanor abuse or neglect after they found the victim in the bed unable to move. According to documents the officers found the man lying in bed in a soiled adult diaper covered in feces and in bed sheets covered in urine. His caretaker had a blood alcohol level of .204. Police had alerted the social service workers to their concern and they had assured authorities that the man was safe with his daughter. Unfortunately, family members are not always able to give proper care to their elderly parents and this often results in elderly negligence. To read more about the elderly abuse, please click the link.
A nursing home worker was sentenced to eight years in prison and 22 years of probation for stealing from elderly patient accounts. The nursing home employee must also pay $200,000 in restitution following her sentencing of one count of grand theft and 41 counts of forgery. She was convicted in February with stealing form accounts while working at the nursing home. The woman was in charge of patient accounts and was supposed to turn over funds she collected to the medical service. It was at that time that forged signatures were found on checks. She was also in charge of balancing the nursing home checking account. Financial exploitation against the elderly has become all too common in nursing homes. To read more about the financial exploitation, please click the link.
The owner of a nursing home for developmentally disabled adults has agreed to a $600,000 out-of-court settlement with the family of a man who died after he was physically restrained by his caregivers. The 30-year-old man died in late October. An investigation determined that the man died from “excited delirium” which is a condition traditionally associated with police death-in-custody cases, in which struggling suspects suddenly stop breathing after being forcibly restrained. Depositions would show that the employees violated both regulations and the care’s home policies. On the day of the incident, the employees went to the room after the young man became unruly. When an employee went in to check on him, he began calling his caregivers names. After asking the victim to “self-restrain” two employees pinned him down. It was during the struggle that the victim stopped thrashing around and wasn’t breathing. Physical restraint can oftentimes become problematic for nursing homes. To read more about the wrongful death, please click here.
Putting flesh-eating maggots into open wounds has not been found to be helpful. The maggots do clean wounds more quickly than normal treatment, yet this does not lead to faster healing. A study shows that this “so-called” larval therapy more painful. Maggots do have a long history in medicine. Recently they have been used to prevent dangerous infections like methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureas (MRSA). The study recruited 267 patients with venuous leg ulcers and treated them either with maggots or hydrogel and found no significant difference in outcomes or cost. Maggots may seem to have advantages in some specialized areas, such as preparing patients for skin grafts, where faster wound cleaning means patients can be moved into surgery more swiftly. Larval therapy works because maggots eat only dead and rotting tissue, leaving a clean wound. These maggots do not burrow into healthy flesh, presumed to eat each other when they run out of food. This study will have an impact on the treatment of elderly patients. To read more about the study, please click the link.
A nursing home patient was charged with sexual battery of another patient. According to the police, the 65-year-old attacker, who has been diagnosed with schizophrenia and depression, was found on the bed of a profoundly mentally retarded resident who has cerebral palsy and is unable to walk or talk. Employees found the man on the bed with blood on his hands and face, his shirt was off and his sweatpants were down to his ankles and his boxer shorts were still on. The nursing home administrator immediately called the police about the sexual assualt incident. Although there is controversy around the man’s arrest, the victim’s family is pleased with the police’s work and wants to ensure that this does not happen to anyone else. Medical tests performed after the sexual assault show no injuries to the women. It is becoming an increasing trend that fellow mentally ill patients are sexually assaulting other residents. To read more about the sexual assault, please click the link.
Charges have been filed against three employees at a state’s social service department after an investigation into the well-being of an 85-year-old city man. They were chargd with elderly abuse and neglect of an incapacitated adult. Police checked on the 85-year-old man and found that the man was a victim of elderly neglect. Additionally, the man’s daughter was charged with felony abuse and neglect of an incapacitated adult. To read more about the elderly neglect charges, please click the link.
Authorities believe that an 87-year-old woman with dementia may have been sexually assaulted at her nursing home. The woman is currently being treated for pneumonia where she is in serious condition. Nurses found evidence during the examination that she may have been molested at the nursing home. The woman’s daughter believes that pictures show that her mother was sexually assaulted. The woman also asked that a rape kit test will be done on him. Although no previous incidents of sexual assault have been reported, eight complaints have been filed since 2006. Investigators have been unable to interview the elderly sexual assault victim because of her condition. To read more about the sexual abuse, please click the link.
A state’s law says that people who live within 1,000 feet of a convicted sex offender must be notified; however a loophole in the law leaves out residents of nursing homes, assisted living centers and other long-term care facilities. In one instant, an 18-year old mentally retarded woman was raped by a sex offender who lived in the building. A new law would require local sheriff’s offices to notify managers of long-term care facilities when sex offenders are moving into their buildings. It also would require those managers to notify residents and their guardians. It seems unfortunate that if someone lives on the same block as a sex offender they are notified, yet if the sex offender lives in the nursing home nobody is notified. In the state 107 registered sex offenders were living in 47 nursing homes. Legislators believe that is important for nursing home residents and residents of other long-term care facilities to have the same right to information that ordinary citizens do. To read more about the new legislation, please click the link.
Eric Carlson, an attorney with the national Senior Citizens Law Center has given advice on how to choose a nursing home. He first suggests that consumers be aggressive about questioning a prospective home about nursing home staff and staff training. If you are looking for a home with dementia care, he suggests looking for one that uses resident-centered care that offers a homelike environment and that works to meet a resident’s preference. He believes that the biggest factor when it comes to quality of care is nursing home staff. Try to find a place where the nurse aides have been around for years. This is especially important for those with dementia because they need consistency to enable to recognize the person and build trust. He warns against choosing a home that uses inappropriate use of behavior-modifying medication. Additionally physical restraints can be problematic. Finally, when choosing the difference between nursing homes and assisted-living communities, beware that state regulations are often vague as to what types of needs an assisted-living facility is required to accommodate. To read more tips on choosing a nursing home, please click the link.
An internet scam that is sweeping the nation is defrauding many elderly residents. The scam involves elderly residents winning the lottery in foreign countries, and then being forced to transfer taxes upfront before the fictitious winnings are released. Authorities believe that these people are hustled over the Internet, and since the elderly are new to the Internet they grow confused and gullible. Additionally, banks need to be more attuned to the needs of the elderly. In this specific case, the bank released large sums of money to the elderly man after he informed them he bought property in Spain. Most banks are required to report suspected financial abuse of elders to Adult Protective Services or local law enforcement, yet this bank failed to do so. Financial abuse against the elderly can occur anywhere, including here in Chicago, Illinois. To read more about the financial abuse, please click the link.
Illinois ranks the highest among the states in the number of mentally ill adults under the age of 65 living in nursing homes. Last year, over 12,000 mentally ill individuals lived in nursing homes in Illinois. The high number is due to the seven state-run mental hospitals that have been closed since 1980. The state needs 6,279 beds to meet minimum treatment standards and not be prone to Illinois nursing home neglect.
To read more about the Illinois nursing home situation.
A jury awarded a landmark verdict of $11 million to the widow of a 36-year-old man who died after ingesting foreign objects while in the care of Liberty Manor Residency. The nursing home verdict awarded $2 million for the decedent, $5 million for the wife and $4 million in punitive damages. The decedent had suffered a severe traumatic brain injury as a result of a car accident. He then needed to be placed into an assisted living facility. One day she received a call saying her husband had been vomiting. After the wife rushed him over to the hospital, he continued vomiting and died in her arms. The autopsy showed that he had ingested a number of items, including plastic bags, unopened ketchup packets, candy wrappers and paper towels in the victim’s stomach and small intestines. At trial, it was discovered that the assisted living facility had made numerous false entries in their charts in regards to the man’s care. To read more about the nursing home verdict, please click the link.
An agency director takes issue with a recent report that claimed that the county stopped providing services to protect elder abuse. The report stated that the county was in violation of the Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protective Act, which mandates local governments to provide elder abuse protection to seniors.
To read more about the elder abuse cases.
A nursing home is claiming it took extraordinary measures to protect residents when it feared that three women with Alzheimer’s disease had been sexually assaulted last fall. A police investigation and medical exams of the three women were inconclusive. The nursing home had guards at its doors to register and escort visitors, sent eight male employees home with pay and called in national experts to examine all male and female residents in the 117-bed facility. The facility also retrained staff on how to spot sexual abuse and for more than a month used a “buddy system” to ensure that no resident was alone with an employee or visitor. Despite their efforts, the Department of Health cited the nursing home twice during its investigation for inadequate measures. The “immediate jeopardy” citations were given because the nursing home failed to adequately protect residents and failed to take immediate corrective action. These changes were implemented because there is a growing public awareness that residents with dementia are particularly vulnerable to physical and sexual abuse. To read more about the elderly abuse, please click the link.
Over the past several years, nursing homes have seen an increase in young and middle-age people with mental illness. This increase in mentally ill patients has also increased the amount of elderly violence in nursing homes. One such incident at All Faith Pavilion in Chicago's South Side involved Ivory Jackson, a 77-year-old man with Alzheimer’s who was smashed in the face with a clock radio as he lay in his bed. The man who killed Mr. Jackson was a mentally ill man thirty years his younger.
What has occurred is that younger, stronger residents with schizophrenia, depression or bipolar disorder are now living beside frail elderly residents and they have been taking their rage out on them. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services show that nearly 125,000 young and middle-aged adults are living with serious mental illnesses in U.S. nursing homes, which is a 41 percent increase from 2002. There are several forces behind the trend including the closing of state mental institutions and a shortage of hospital psychiatric beds. Due to these great increases in numbers, numerous incidents have occurred. Gaps in the employee staff training leave the nursing homes inept at handling the delusions and aggression of the mentally ill, which makes it difficult on the elderly residents.
The attorneys at Levin & Perconti have worked on a number of cases involving sexual or physical abuse of nursing home residents. W are currently involved in a similar case against East Peoria Gardens in East Peoria, IL. Our attorneys represent the family of a woman who fell at the home as a result of improper supervision and died a week later from her injuries. The case alleges that as a result of the owners’ decision to mix an elderly population with younger mentally ill resident, a situation was created where the elderly residents and the staff were in fear for their own safety. To read more about this nursing home lawsuit, follow the link.
To read more about the increase in elderly physical abuse, please click here.
Senators Chuck Grassley and Herb Kohl reintroduced the Nursing Home Transparency and Improvement Act, a bill that would give consumers more information about individual nursing homes and their track record of care, giving the government better tools for enforcing high quality standards. Grassley was quoted as saying that "Improving the quality of care in nursing homes is a constant challenge. More transparency, better enforcement and improved staff training are needed, and this legislation works to make changes in those areas and improve the quality of life of nursing home residents and to empower the family members and loved ones of those residents." Among other things the bill improves staff training to include dementia management and abuse prevention training as part of pre-employment training. It also strengthens accountability requirements for individual facilities and nursing homes chains by requiring them to develop compliance and ethics plans to guard against civil, criminal and administrative violations. To read more about the new nursing home legislation, please click the link.
In a recent Daily Southtown article, the writer spoke with the son of an elderly man who is accused of elder abuse homicide. According to the medical examiner’s office, the neighbors found the elderly man bruised and severely dehydrated at his home duct-taped and tied with a dog leash to a chair. He died from the elder abuse four days later.
To read more about the Illinois elder abuse homicide.
Two Senators last week introduced a bill to establish a nationwide system of background checks to prevent people with criminal histories from working in nursing homes. Thre bill is called the Patient Safety and Abuse Prevention Act, which expands on a three-year pilot program helped to prevent applicants with a criminal record from working in long-term care. Often times, nursing home abuse occurs when nursing homes fail to properly screen their employees who work with some of the most vulnerable people.
To read the full article on the nursing home bill.
A nursing home has been fined $80,000 after investigators determined a patient died because of the staff’s nursing home neglect. The staff failed to follow the resident’s dietary needs. The 54 year-old resident was supposed to be restricted to soft foods and died when he choked on a meatball. The state regulators cited the nursing home for the nursing home neglect.
To read more about the nursing home neglect.
Police have arrested a man accused of stealing money from elderly women. The man was a traveling gypsy who preys upon elderly women. He would pull his truck over and set fire to the trunk. Then the scammers would allegedly convince the seniors that their cars needed immediate repair for their own safety. The police stated that the seniors were duped out of more than $15,000 of their savings. The gypsies have left a trial of police reports in several states and have access to many women’s driver’s licenses. The men specifically preyed on many elderly women to commit financial exploitation. This kind of financial abuse happens all over, including Chicago, Illinois. To read more about the financial elderly abuse, click the link.
A wrongful death lawsuit was recently filed against a nursing home alleging nursing home neglect. The nursing home abuse lawsuit alleges that the care center violated the Nursing Home Act in that the resident suffered malnutrition, dehydration, decubitis ulcers, and sepsis prior to her death.
To read more about the wrongful death lawsuit.
A recent MetLife Mature Market Institute study reported that elder financial abuse costs older Americans more than $2.6 billion per year. An especially disturbing result of the study found that the financial abuse is most often perpetrated by family members and caregivers of the elderly. The “typical” victim of elder financial abuse is between the ages of 70 and 89, white, female, frail, and cognitively impaired.
To read more about the elder financial abuse.
A McHenry, Illinois woman alleges that poor care at a Lake Zurich nursing home led to her mother’s shattered hip. Due to this elderly negligence, Levin & Perconti has filed a lawsuit against the facility. The nursing home negligence lawsuit was filed in Cook County Circuit Court against the Lexington Health Care Center of Lake Zurich, on behalf of Edna Kneidek who was 83. “We hope that our case will bring about changes at Lexington so that other residents don’t suffer like my mother did,” said Lisa. “We visited often, but there are so many residents who do not have family nearby to speak up for them. We do not want anyone else to go through what my mother went through.” The daughter alleges that her mother fell five times during 2007 while undergoing care at the nursing home despite staff member’s knowledge that she was at risk for falling. A fall in August of 2007 prompted the lawsuit when the woman allegedly fell and then complained to staff members of severe hip pain. However, staff members allegedly did not transfer her to a hospital for another five days. X-rays showed that the woman had shattered her left hip and realized she also had pneumonia. To read more about the nursing home negligence, please click the link
The family of an 87 year-old woman who was struck and killed in a car accident plans to file a nursing home neglect lawsuit. The family alleges that the nursing home was negligent when their 87 year-old mother, who was in the beginning stages of dementia and had a history of running away, escaped from the nursing home. She was struck by a vehicle in a hit-and-run later that evening.
To read more about the nursing home neglect lawsuit.
A state agency has begun a nursing home abuse investigation into a rehabilitation center where a nurse injected Xanax into a 78 year-old Alzheimer’s patient. If the investigation finds severe nursing home abuse, the facility could face possible sanctions such as fines or license revocation.
A nurse at the facility is charged with battery of a senior citizen. According to a police report, the nurse broke up a 2mg Xanax pill and dissolved it with a saline solution.
To read more about the nursing home abuse investigation.
A nursing home neglect lawsuit has been filed against a nursing home, contending that the doctors found maggots crawling in a 95 year-old woman’s bedsore. In addition to this nursing home abuse lawsuit, the facility has faced multiple state and federal sanctions. This nursing home lawsuit alleges that the victim suffered poor hygiene, bedsores with maggot infestation, malnutrition, weight loss and dehydration.
To read more about the nursing home neglect lawsuit.
According to the Chicago Tribune, a nursing home was recently fined $7,000 by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for “its indifference to complaints of sexual abuse against elderly residents.” The nursing home neglected to investigate an incident in which a male staff member was suspected of nursing home abuse and the nursing home also failed to report the suspected abuse to the state. The article did not provide specific details surrounding the suspicions of nursing home abuse.
To read the Chicago Tribune article about the suspected nursing home abuse, follow the link.
An elderly nursing home resident died last year after choking on his lunch at a nursing home. He suffocated to death when the nursing home neglected to accommodate his dietary needs by changing his meal plan. Prior to the accident, a nursing home dietitian alerted other staff to his risk of choking because he was having a hard time chewing and swallowing thin liquid. Rather than taking steps to immediately address this risk, the nursing home was negligent and did not change his meal plan or supervise him while eating.
On the day of his death, the nursing home resident was given a meal of beef, vegetables and potatoes. He choked on this food and it became stuck in his trachea. Staff attempted the Heimlich maneuver on him but could not resuscitate him. As a result of the nursing home’s failure to address his dietary needs, he died. The nursing home was fined $90,000 by the state.
Read full coverage of this nursing home negligence by following the link.
A Lake Zurich, Illinois nursing home has been accused of negligence in a Levin & Perconti filed nursing home negligence suit. The suit was filed in Cook County Circuit Court. The elderly negligence suit was filed against Lexington Health Care Center of Lake Zurich on behalf of Edna Kneided, an 83-year-old woman, after she suffered a hip fracture at the nursing home. The fracture has left her permanently immobile. Attorney Steven Levin of Chicago, Kneidek was admitted to Lexington Health Care after living in an assisted lving facility. Levin points out that when the woman was admitted, she was assessed as being at-risk for falls. Despite this assessment, the nursing home allowed her to fall five times from February through August of 2007. One fall resulted in her being transferred to the hospital for X-ways for five days, which revealed her left hip was shattered. The woman was also diagnosed with pneumonia. Edna had to have extensive surgery in order to repair her hip. "Edna's family trusted Lexington to care for her, but the home was negligent on a number of levels," Levin said. "The nursing home failed to properly assess Edna's risk for falls or protect her from falling. After allowing her to fall, the home did not respond to her complaints of pain or transfer her to the hospital in a timely fashion." To read more about the nursing home negligence, please click here.
A police investigation into the death of a 90-year-old man has not turned up evidence supporting a ruling that the Cook County medical examiner’s office that he was a victim of elder abuse. The paramedics took the man from his home after a neighbor reported finding him duct-taped to a living room chair. The elderly man wrongfully died in an area hospital.
The medical examiner’s office last week ruled the case a homicide and died of dehydration and elder abuse. The man told his family he wanted to die at home, so they did everything they could to make sure he didn’t go back to a hospital. The Will County state’s attorney’s office said the elderly abuse case is still under investigation.
To read more about the elder abuse, please click here.
A 90-year-old Steger, Illinois man was allegedly found duct-taped taped to his living room chair. The man had wrongfuly died from dehydration and elder abuse. The police chief was alerted to the case after paramedics transported the senior to the local hospital. The police chief believes that elder abuse over the weekend caused his death. The medical office ruled the elderly man’s death a homicide. Police also retried a dog leash from the home that had been used to bind the man’s legs. To read more about the wrongful death, please click the link.
Attorney Steven Levin of Levin & Perconti filed a nursing home negligence case in Cook County against Lexington Health Care Center of Lake Zurich in Lake Zurich, IL. The complaint was filed on behalf of Edna Kneidek for the injuries she suffered while she was a resident at the nursing home. The victim is now permanently immobile after she suffered a hip fracture at the nursing home. When Edna was admitted to Lexington, she was assessed as being at-risk for falls. Despite her known risk for falls, the nursing home allowed her to fall five times from February through August 2007. On August 7, Ms. Kneidek suffered a fall and later complained to the nursing home staff of severe hip pain. Over the next few days, her pain continued. However, the nursing home did not address this pain or transfer her to the hospital for x-rays for five days. When she finally entered the hospital on August 12, an x-ray revealed that her left hip was shattered and she was also diagnosed with pneumonia. Attorney Steven Levin stated that, “The nursing home failed to properly assess Edna’s risk for falls or protect her from falling. After allowing her to fall, the home did not respond to her complaints of pain or transfer her to the hospital in a timely fashion.” “We hope that our case will bring about changes at Lexington so that other residents don’t suffer like my mother did,” said Lisa. “We visited often, but there are so many residents who do not have family nearby to speak up for them. We do not want anyone else to go through what my mother went through.”
Sexual abuse allegations at an elderly home have family members concerned as hospital officials believe there are more victims. The suspect is a male nursing assistant who’s since been fired. The family members of the alleged victims claim that the nursing home tried to cover up the elderly abuse. One of the staff called the family and told them they needed to talk to them. She then informed the family member that a male certified nursing assistant had been molesting the elderly woman. Although the nursing home had filed an elderly abuse report, no one had ever informed the family of the abuse. The family believes that the nursing home tried to cover up the elderly sexual abuse. To read more about the sexual abuse, please click the link.
Police have arrested a former health care worker in connection with the 2007 homicide of a patient with cerebral palsy. The case of nursing home abuse almost ended with no investigation into the victim’s wrongful death and his burial days later in pauper’s grave. The nursing home aide is charged with criminally negligent homicide in the death of the disabled man. The wrongful death occurred at the home when the employee worked as a certified nursing assistant. Last summer the body was exhumed and the autopsy indicted that the man died of a blunt force trauma to the head. There was no initial autopsy performed because the nursing home representatives told him that the victim had fallen and fractured his skull as a result of a seizure. The family believes that the nursing home and the state’s department of human services were in collusion to hide the death and burial of the victim. Additionally, there was little done to inform the victim’s family of his death. The nursing home fired the certified nursing home assistant soon after the wrongful death. To read more about the elderly manslaughter, please click the link.
Advocates for nursing home residents hope that they will be able to stop the progress of a bill in the Illinois General Assembly which is designed to allow state regulators to refund fines paid by nursing homes planning to use the money to improve care. The bill, Senate Bill 321, would return money after a nursing home may have been cited for elderly abuse or neglect. Director of Chicago-based Illinois Citizens for Better Care, Wendy Meltzer, stated that this bill would be really bad public policy because it essentially eliminates the financial disincentive for bad behavior. Although the bill’s sponsor believes that the bill is a way of ensuring that problems at nursing homes get fixed, money could be returned even in the cases of elderly rape or wrongful death. The bill highlights the idea that Illinois has become too focused on fines against nursing homes instead of good care. Meltzer pointed out that nursing homes shouldn’t need refunds as an incentive to provide the kind of care that is required by Illinois state law. Last year the bill’s sponsor received $15,000 in campaign contributions from the nursing home industry. To read more about Senate Bill 321, please click the link.
Recent reports show that a national nursing home management firm, Sunwest Management as been accused of defrauding investors out of roughly $300 million in a Ponzi scheme. The Securities and Exchange Commission leveled charges against the company, and its founder. According to the SEC, Sunwest raised $300 million from 1,300 investors between 2006 and 2008. Investors believed that they were purchasing partial ownership of one of the Sunwest’s facilities, and had been guaranteed an annual return of 10%. Sunwest then allegedly placed the money in one fund that it used to pay operating expenses, investor returns and other costs. The investors were never informed that the places they had invested in were actually losing money. While Sunwest Management had overseen more than 320 assisted living facilities in 2007, more than 100 facilities have been foreclosed upon, placed in receivership or declared bankrupt. To read more about the nursing home Ponzi scheme, please click the link.
A nursing home is facing manslaughter charges after a resident rolled her wheelchair unattended out of the front door of the nursing home and tumbled down a flight of stairs. The woman wrongfully died a short time later. The woman was not wearing a doctor-prescribed bracelet designed to set off an alarm and lock the doors if she got too close to the exit, pointing to elderly negligence. The attorney general’s office believes that the wrongful death could have been avoided had she been wearing her bracelet and that the nursing home’s parent company is culpable. The corporation is charged with manslaughter and elderly neglect of a long-term care facility resident. If convicted the corporation could face fines up to $6,000. The attorney general also believes that a corporation convicted of manslaughter fines should be raised from $1,000 to $250,000. To read more about the nursing home manslaughter, click the link.
Authorities say a nursing home aide has surrendered on a homicide charge in the death of a patient. The certified nursing assistant turned himself in and was being held on the charge of criminally negligent homicide. The nursing home assistance was indicted in the 2007 death of the resident of the Nursing Home. The victim had cerebral palsy since birth and his death originally was blamed on injuries following a severe seizure. However, the family of the victim suspected abuse and persuaded authorities to exhume his body for an autopsy. That autopsy showed that the victim died from a physical blow to the head and the wrongful death was ruled a homicide. Physical abuse leading to wrongful death can happen at any type of nursing home, including ones in Chicago, Illinois. To read more about the wrongful death, please click the link.
The family of a 54-year-old man who wrongfully died after a six-day stay in a nursing home is suing the facility. The family’s attorney said nurses failed to assess and monitor the man’s respiratory condition or to suction him. The nursing home has faced several federal sanctions in the past two years. In January, the facility was threatened with the loss of Medicare and Medicaid funding before the state found it in compliance. To read more about the nursing home lawsuit, click here.
A jury started hearing arguments in a wrongful death lawsuit in which the family of a 90-year-old woman claims the nursing home where she lived was negligent in her care and caused her death. They contend that she received inadequate care during her stay at the nursing home. The woman died from injuries she sustained in her falls. The woman’s attorney told jurors that workers at the nursing home falsified records, violated internal policies and were generally negligent in how they watched over the woman. The woman continued rehabilitation from a broken pelvis she suffered in a fall her home. The family is seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages from the nursing home and it’s management home. To read more about the nursing home abuse, please click here.
On March 13, 2009, Steven Levin of Levin & Perconti will speak at the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys Illinois Chapter Meeting on Protecting the Rights of Elderly Clients in Personal Injury Matters. The presentation will take place at the law offices of D. Rebecca Mitchell in Chicago. Steve will discuss how elder law attorneys and personal injury lawyers can work together to assure that the rights of elderly clients are protected. This discussion will include how to recognize the need for a personal injury attorney, how to make referrals and work with the personal injury attorney.
For questions regarding this presentation, please click here. Registration is required for this event and space is limited to NAELA members only.
A woman was sentenced to two years in prison for abusing a 60-year-old woman in her care last year outside the woman’s home. The Cook County judge sentenced the former live-in caregiver as part of an agreement in which she pled guilty to events in the victim’s back yard in Inverness, Illinois. Neighbors reported seeing the woman hosing down the naked victim as she sat in a lawn chair. They also saw the woman strike the victim in the face with the hose’s metal nozzle and attempt to hit her with a mop. Police arrived and the woman refused to let him in the house. The police noticed old bruises on the elderly woman’s body and red marks on her face. The woman did admit that she had hosed the woman off, but denied striking her face. The woman was sentenced to two years in jail for elderly abuse. To read more about the Illinois abuse, click here.
A recently filed nursing home negligence lawsuit claims a 91-year-old woman died after she received substandard care at her nursing home. The woman died of pneumonia and other problems. The lawsuit also alleges that the unwarranted and unlawful kidnapping of the 91-year-old was to secure payment for her inpatient care. The elderly abuse lawsuit said that the woman’s mother contacted the home health agency to help care for her mother but instead the nursing home immediately began pressuring her to place her mother in 24-hour-care. The nursing home then supposedly made up a story that they found the woman with dried feces on herself because of inadequate care at home. A judge then involuntarily committed the woman to the nursing home. The elderly neglect lawsuit alleges the woman developed pneumonia, was repeatedly given aspirin and medication she was allergic to, and otherwise was poorly cared for and not properly fed. To read more about the elderly abuse lawsuit, please click here.
New legislation is making it difficult for elderly neglected or abused in nursing homes to gather evidence from inspections. Shortly before President Bush left office, he signed a bill allowing state inspectors to be considered federal employees that could be restricted from giving testimony in court. This means that there will be less evidence to back up nursing home violations. Elderly abuse will be more difficult to prove, which will lead to poor treatment of seniors in nursing homes. The dramatic effect of inspectors not testifying is revealed by the fact that they are the ones who track the number and frequency of abuse. However, this new legislation was put into place to make Medicare payments to providers and to insure that less nursing home lawsuits go to litigation. “The Bush administration’s rule makes it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to uncover state inspectors’ findings and use them as evidence,” said attorney Steven Levin of Levin & Perconti. “This regulation is another example of the Bush administration putting the interests of corporations that run nursing homes ahead of the rights of nursing home residents to be free of abuse and neglect. As a result, poor quality care in nursing homes will not be discovered and punished.” To read more about Bush’s new rule, please click the link.
On March 4, The Senate Special Committee on Aging will meet to discuss how improvements in long-term care can be included as part of national health care reform. The committee will meet to discuss possible changes and improvements in Medicare, Medicaid and organizing long-term care services. Long-term care reform can help to improve the quality of care for nursing home residents across the country.
The public is encouraged to call their Members of Congress prior to this committee meeting to let them know that they support long-term care reform. Those wishing to participate can call (800) 958-5374 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern Time on March 3, 2009. To learn more about supporting long-term care reform, follow the link.
A family is forgiving a nursing home after their 80-year-old father was abused at a nursing home, saying that it was a couple of bad apples in a good crop. The family also believes that the lack of nursing home supervision accounted for the elderly abuse. The nursing home faces $129,000 in fines. Additionally, two residents have reported physical abuse. A report shows that the nursing home failed to protect the privacy of an 80-year-old man with dementia when an aide used a cell phone to video him naked from the chest up in a bathroom. The recording shows another aide spraying water into the man’s face while he yells. The elderly abuse left the man with a scab on his nose and “increased anxiety.” The nursing home acted promptly and fired all those involved in the alleged abuse. To read more about the physical abuse, click the link.
A man was accused of sexually molesting an elderly female patient in late August. Prosecutors have now charged him with first-degree criminal sexual act and first-degree sexual abuse. The man is accused of elderly abuse against an 89-year-old victim who was a resident of the nursing home. The woman testified in front of the grand jury as to her sexual abuse. To read more about this sexual abuse, please click the link.