M Live News reported this week on a new nursing home neglect lawsuit stemming from a particularly tragic case of inadequate care provided by caregivers. The tragedy struck three years ago as the 87-year old woman was on a facility shopping trip with other residents. After collecting groceries, the resident boarded the bus back to the facility. However, when they arrived, the facility caregivers left the woman on the bus and closed it up. The victim was left without aide on the vehicle for the next fourteen hours. Over the course of that time the woman became so hungry, thirsty, and disoriented that she opened the first aid kit on the bus and drank hydrogen peroxide and ate Tylenol.
A widespread search was commenced once facility staff noticed that she was gone. The woman’s family, employees, and police officers scoured the area before finding the resident in the bus. She was face down in the vehicle and soaked in urine by the time she was rescued. She did not survive the ordeal. Of course, our Illinois nursing home abuse lawyers know that in all cases like this, the families of the victims often will spend much time wondering if there is anything that they should have done to prevent the tragic death. The daughter of the victim in this case explains that she did her best to ensure that the facility was a good fit for her mother. She had checked the home’s records, and visited the facility during each shift to check on the quality of care provided to residents at all times.
One thing that she didn’t check was the type of insurance that the facility had to pay for cases of nursing home neglect. Unfortunately, business wrangling and insurance issues have ultimately made it difficult for the family to recover. The nursing home company which owned the facility when the negligence took place dissolved after the suit was filed. In fact, the company didn’t even respond to requests for documents during the discovery process. As a result the judge in the case awarded a default of judgment of $1.65 million to the family. However, they have not been able to recover the amount, because the company’s insurance does not seem to cover the event. The situation has led many in the community to issue repeat calls for laws which would require nursing homes to maintain liability insurance. Previous attempts to enact legislation to that effect have failed in the state legislature along party lines.
Each Chicago nursing home neglect lawyer at our firm is propelled to continue fighting for these victims based on situations like this one. The entire reason that many residents enter these homes is because they have unique vulnerabilities with which they need assistance. Aid is needed for any number of basic tasks like eating, bathing, dressing, and with transportation. Many families help their loved ones enter these homes specifically because they assume that their quality of life will be better when they are around those who can help with these tasks twenty four hours a day. It remains appalling when not only is that help not provided adequately, but it is provided in such a deficient manner that it leads to tragic deaths like the one. These cases of nursing home abuse must be stopped, and those facilities involved must pay for the consequences and enact changes to ensure no victim ever faces the same situation.
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