Last week we discussed how our Illinois nursing home attorneys at Levin & Perconti had been retained by the family of the nursing home resident who died after an attack at the Oak Park Healthcare Center. Many in the community were shocked to read about the situation which raised huge questions about the care being provided to residents at the facility.
As we’ve discussed previously, the resident, 80-year old Anibal Calderon, died on February 14th as a result of severe head injuries. It was clear that the injuries were not caused by an accident; instead, he was apparently attacked by another resident at the facility. Mr. Calderon suffered from Alzheimer’s and lived in the dementia ward at the long-term care facilities. His wife and family entrusted the healthcare center to provide him with the close care and support that he needed to get by as a result of his cognitive mental condition. Unfortunately, according to what has come out so far regarding this situation, our Illinois nursing home abuse attorneys know that it seems clear that the caregivers fail to provide the oversight needed to keep him safe.
The attack on Mr. Calderon does not seem to be an isolated incident. As attorney Steve Levin noted out our firm’s investigation, “We have begun to receive information from individuals close to the nursing home that the problems are very widespread and have been going on for some period of time.”
Late last week the Trib Local provided a brief update on the case. The story explained that the Illinois Department of Public Health has apparently finished its investigation into the matter. The IDPH was spurred to investigate the situation because of the nature of Mr. Calderon’s death. The report is expected to be released this week; however a few final details still need to be sorted out. A spokeswoman for the IDPH summarized the situation by noting that the organization “is now preparing the inspection report [and that] once finalized we must send it to the facility before we can make it public.”
It remains unclear if any information will be contained in the report which has yet to already come out publicly. It is known that the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office has classified Mr. Calderon’s death as a homicide. However, according to Oak Park Police officials, no criminal charges have yet been filed. This is not surprising, as criminal matters in these cases present a range of unique issues involving the attacker’s mental state and the available evidence pinpointing a specific culprit. The potential criminal matter is separate from any civil liability that may seek to hold the facility accountable for its conduct. There is simply no excuse for not providing close observation in this situation which would allow something like this to occur. It is clear that basic reasonable levels of care were not provided by employees at the home which resulted in the attack on Mr. Calderon.
Each Illinois nursing home neglect lawyer at our firm remains proud to work on behalf of families, like Mr. Calderon’s, who have lost a loved one as a result of inadequate supervision at these facilities. We continue to steadfastly believe that nursing home care in our area will only improve when each home is held fully accountable for the preventable harms that befall its residents. Please do not let nursing home neglect go unnoticed-ensure that all mistreatment at local facilities is reported before it leads to tragedies like this one.
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