Most nursing home neglect cases include a few familiar types of incidents: falls, failure to prevent bed sores, resident-on-resident violence, inadequate nutrition, and wandering. But these general issues are certainly not the only ways that long-term care facilities can fail to meet their legal duty to protect residents. Sometimes the mistakes are a bit more nuanced and connected to the more skilled medical care that these facilities provide.
However, at the end of the day, considering there are so many clear trends when it comes to neglect, family members worried about mistreatment should most familiarize themselves with the most common issues, particularly falls and pressure sores.
Pressure Sore Case
For example, our neglect legal team recently settled a case on behalf of a family whose loved one died after poor care at local facility. Pressure sores and the failure to properly treat them was at the root of the problem.
The resident in the case was admitted to the defendant-facility in April of 2006. The senior had an unfortunate history of strokes, which caused her to suffer left-sided hemiparesis. Hemiparesis refers to a clear weakness on one side of the body. It is not as severe as complete paralysis, but it obviously has severe effects on one’s functioning. As a result of her ailments, upon her admission to the facility the resident was assessed as a high risk for developing pressure sores. Pressure sores are a real danger for those who have mobility trouble and may spend significant amount of time in a bed or in one position.
Unfortunately, in this case the family argued that the senior did not receive the care to which she was entitled to prevent the development of pressure sores. The resident eventually developed several bed sores while at the home. According to allegations in the lawsuit the staff at the facility did not act reasonably in trying to treat the pressure sores or prevent new ulcers from forming.
Less than a year after arriving at the home, the senior was transferred to a different facility. Her initial assessment verified that at that time (February of 2007), she has pressure sores on her scrum, heel and ear. Sadly, according to allegations her treatment at the new facility was not any better. Caregivers did not properly treat the injuries and provide care to ensure future bed sores did not develop.
All told, the resident’s condition continued to deteriorate and she eventually needed surgery. The medical care was not enough, however, and she died from her infected sores in May of 2007.
In a subsequent lawsuit our attorneys at Levin & Perconti were able to negotiate with the facilities to secure a total of $825,000 in compensation--$375,000 from the first facility and $250,000 from the second home. The settlement was reached in early August of this year.
Don’t Stay Silent
Even though we often share information on common signs of neglect, no two cases are ever identical. As a legal matter there are always some differences, from the senior’s specific injuries, pre-admittance health, conduct of caregivers and much more. Because of this variability, securing full accountability and redress requires seeking out only the most experienced attorneys to argue on your behalf.
For decades our team at Levin & Perconti have pioneered legal work on nursing home neglect cases. We are honored to help so many families in Chicago and throughout Illinois ensure their loved ones receive proper care and that misconduct is dealt with firmly. There is no excuse for long-term care facilities to fail to meet their obligation to the vulnerable individuals in their care. If you suspect that someone you know was harmed by poor care please call us today to see how we can help.
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