Yesterday we discussed a new report that highlights troubling caregiving and minimal oversight at one state’s publicly –run homes for the disabled. Our Illinois nursing home neglect attorneys are well aware of the string of similar problems that have been found in our state in the past. Over the last several years close observation and investigation into home that treat the developmentally disabled-including disabled children-found that Illinois nursing home neglect and abuse was rampant. It is easy to get lost in the big picture and focus only on the overall statistics of harm and noted deficiencies. But at the end of the day mistreatment is an individual problem.
For example, the New York Times expanded on their initial story this weekend, taking a closer look at sixteen individual victims who died in questionable circumstances at state-run facilities. For example, one 35-year old resident died several years ago after aggressive conduct on the part of caregivers. The disabled man got into an argument with another resident at his group home. In order to separate the two quarrelling residents, staff members grabbed the victim in this case and pinned him to the floor. The man began turning blue; he lost consciousness and never recovered. The staff members knew that forcefully pinning him to the ground was dangerous, because he had previously required CPR after a prior restraint. Many other residents have similarly died because of excessive force by staff members. Two years ago a thirty year old woman was held down on the floor by two staff members at her group home. She passed out and died. A panel of examiner’s believed that the woman may have been killed by suffocations from being held down too long. However, the case was closed this year without any disciplinary action being taken.
In another case a twenty three year old man was killed after the van he was riding in crashed. The staff members of the publicly-run home had not buckled the man in and the van’s driver was cited for speeding which caused the crash. In another van accident, the thirty five year old severely disabled man died after another disabled passenger sat on him in the van. The resident that caused the death was a known aggressor and protocol in place at the time of the accident called for a staff member to always sit near the resident for fear of an accident occurring just like the one that ultimately did arise.
It is important to keep the individual victims and their tragic stories in mind. From a legal perspective, our Chicago injury lawyers know that the civil law works to provide justice one individual victim at a time. Every family involved in mistreatment such as the ones described here can make a difference by demanding accountability and fairness. No resident should ever have to experience the level of negligent care described here. It is only when those responsible for ensuring that care is up to a reasonable level that changes are usually made. Please get in touch with our Illinois injury attorneys to learn how we might be able to help.
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