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Jury Awards $7 Million in Nursing Home Lawsuit

WKYT News reported yesterday on the conclusion of a nursing home negligence trial. The jury ultimately determined that an aide at the Hillcrest Center was responsible abusing resident Grace Fugate.

Ms. Fugate was 67 in July of 2003 when she first entered the care of healthcare workers at Hillcrest for what was scheduled to be a short stay to recover from knee surgery. Only a month later, Ms. Fugate told a nursing aide that she needed assistance to use the restroom. Shockingly, the aide refused to assist Grace, claiming that she was busy and didn’t have time to help Grace go to the bathroom. The aide told her to get up and go to the bathroom on her own.

Grace eventually attempted to move and reach the restroom herself. Her still mending knee could not handle the strain, however, and she ended up falling. She eventually lost so much blood after the fall that she had to be resuscitated at a local hospital. The fall traumatized the recovering knee even further, leading to its amputation six years later.

Over the course of the trial the jury also heard how the aide who refused to help was uncertified and had a history of poor work habits. Grace’s attorney confessed that he suspected the aide had been angry because she had recently been written up for poor performance, and she took out her anger on Ms. Fugate.

Our Chicago nursing home attorneys at Levin & Perconti support Grace’s fight for vindication for the elder abuse she suffered. Elderly residents at nursing home facilities are often in fragile states, meaning that even simple acts of negligence commonly lead to serious harm. Often the negligence involves failing to properly monitor a resident, like a case we settled for $1.5 million involving an aide’s failure to supervise a resident’s smoking, leading to severe burns. However, sometimes the abuse is even more egregious, like in Ms. Fugate’s case, where an untrained nursing home worker actively refuses to provide the care to which for which he or she is being paid.

In either case, nursing home lawyers should be contacted immediately to ensure that the victim is protected and future abuse is limited.