As the Chicago nursing home lawyer leading a civil suit for the family of Ms. Virginia Cole against the Woodstock Residence, our attorneys have been closely following the criminal trial in the “Angel of Death” nursing home case. While related to the same incidents, the criminal and civil matters have many legal differences. Thus, yesterday’s verdict in one of the criminal trials is not an indication of what is to come in the civil lawsuit.
The Chicago Sun-Times was one of several area news outlets to cover the Judge’s bench verdict in the first criminal trial yesterday which found a supervising nurse not guilty of essentially “looking the other way” as a fellow nurse dispensed overdoses of drugs to residents. Criminal charges such as the ones levied against the supervising attorney in this case are often very difficult to prove because they involve tough burdens of proof and unique showings of motive. However, prosecutors still plan on continuing with the criminal charges against the nurse accused of actually dispensing the drugs that took the lives of several nursing home patients.
The civil lawsuit that our attorneys are leading on behalf of one of those victims, Ms. Virginia Cole, is unaffected by the criminal verdict. In fact, much of the information that came out at the criminal trial reveals the poor care given to residents at the facility. That poor oversight is the crux of the civil lawsuit.
The Chicago Tribune quoted our Chicago nursing home attorney Steve Levin by noting that “the nursing home should have been aware of the wrongdoing that was happening in the home. The sad thing is that administration would let this go on without doing anything.”
Steve went on to explain how the criminal case was challenging because the victims here could not tell their story. He explained that “we firmly believe we will get the families the justice they deserve.” The civil matter will likely have an alternative outcome from this criminal case, because the burden of proof is different and the specific issues to be placed in front of a jury are clearer.
Our Illinois personal injury attorneys at Levin & Perconti are proud to advocate on behalf many whose voices have been silenced by the neglect and abuse of others. There remain far more victims of poor nursing home care than ever achieve justice in the legal system. The efforts of families, like the Lunds, to hold nursing administration accountable for their work goes a long way in ensuring that future victims may be spared.
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