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Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Cited After Resident Suicide

Our Illinois nursing home neglect lawyers known that egregious cases of abuse occur at facilities across the country every day. Even after only a cursory look at weekly news one is not hard pressed to find stories of poor resident treatment. For example, the Los Angeles Times blog reported earlier this week on the heartbreaking story of nursing home abuse and neglect that resulted in the death of a vulnerable resident.

According to the report a 34-year old resident was admitted to the negligent facility in early 2009. The nursing and wellness center was supposed to look-after the man who had a long history of mental illness and was known to be suicidal. However, it has become clear that they failed in that duty. On several occasions the man tried to commit suicide while at the home. One attempt involved the mentally ill man grabbing a fire extinguisher and spraying it into his mouth. On another occasion he wheeled himself out of the home and into the street in front of the facility. He maneuvered himself so that he would be hit by on-coming traffic. After each of these attempts the victim was hospitalized then returned to the facility.

However, the negligent nursing home did not adequately take steps to ensure that the man did not harm himself. He eventually attempted suicide a third time-with the fire extinguisher-and was successful. All of these incident occurred within the first month of the man’s being admitted into the home.

State officials have subsequently indicted the facility and its former administrator for felony abuse and neglect. After hearing all of the evidence the grand jury decided that probable cause existed to charge the individuals with the crime.

Employees of the facility in this case were clearly was improperly trained and unable to deal with mentally ill residents. Unfortunately, similar examples of Illinois nursing home abuse exist. Our Chicago nursing home neglect lawyers have worked with the families of residents who were not properly protected by nursing home employees. In one case against the Lee Manor Nursing Home, we successfully reached settlement with the family of a 54-year old mentally ill patient who died after falling out of the nursing home window.

In that case, the employees were on clear notice that the man needed to be closely watched to prevent harming himself. He was a chronic paranoid schizophrenic and was blind. He was supposed to be on a “secure” floor to ensure his safety. Unfortunately, there was not much security as the man was allowed to open a window on the floor, ultimately falling to his death.

A negligence suit can usually be brought against facilities that fail to properly protect residents from harming themselves. These long-term care facilities have a duty to the victims and the surviving family members are able to hold them accountable when they breach that duty. By taking a stand and not allowing the poor treatment to go unpunished, family members can help other residents at the home. When chronic negligence and abuse goes un-corrected at nursing homes it is only a matter of time before more victims suffer.

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