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Illinois Nursing Home Death Ruled A Homicide

The Chicago Sun-Times reported this morning on a disturbing example of Illinois nursing home neglect that occurred at the Maryhaven Nursing and Rehabilitation Center earlier this month. An 86-year old dementia patient and resident of the dementia ward of the facility died after she was beaten by another resident in the home.

The victim was found by staff members in her private room at the home. Care workers were initially not sure what happened, but the woman was clearly harmed when discovered and rushed to a local hospital. She died a few days later from what doctors deemed craniocerebral injuries caused by an assault and heart disease.

It was only later that authorities investigated the incident and officially labeled it a homicide. Apparently the woman was attacked by another resident in the ward, suffered life-threatening injuries and succumbed to them a few days later.

This is a sad reminder of the vulnerability of the residents of these homes. Illinois nursing home neglect occurs in many forms-one of the most costly involves failure to properly prevent attacks like this one. Failure to do something that they had a duty to do is grounds for negligence. For example, in this case a thorough investigation needs to be conducted on all sides to figure out what exactly could have been done (but wasn’t) to prevent this attack.

Nursing homes are often made aware of risks well before actual injuries result from it. They have a duty to protect residents from the reasonable risks of which they are aware. For example, the attacking resident in this case may have had some history of violence or aggression. The abuser may also have had some past personal animosity toward the victim. The mere fact that both residents were in the special ward for those suffering from mental issues-like Azheimer’s-is indication by itself that extra care needed to be given to ensure the safe co-habitation of these residents.

Nursing home residents are often in frail health conditions. That is frequently the very reason that they begin living in these care facilities. Nursing home staff members know of that frailty and therefore have a duty to take reasonable steps to keep them safe. Even accidents or injuries that would not be life-threatening to a younger person in good health may be deadly to one of these residents. Their particular risks should be taken into account and guarded against.

When a facility fails to take reasonable steps that would have prevented attacks like this one, an Illinois nursing home neglect lawsuit should be brought to hold them accountable. Our Chicago nursing home abuse lawyers at Levin & Perconti have combined decades of experience helping families recover fair compensation for their losses after receiving inadequate nursing home care. We have worked with victim who suffered from a wide variety of injuries, from falls and nursing home choking to sexual and physical abuse. In each case, the victims were only asking for basic fairness and access to the judicial process to help ensure poor homes were held accountable. If you know of one who has been harmed in this way please consider contacting us today and sharing your story.

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