April 20, 2016

Levin & Perconti Lawsuit Alleges Nursing Home Negligence Led to Death

by Levin & Perconti

Nursing homes are required to provide proper care for all residents in their care. This is not just common sense – it is the law. The Illinois Nursing Home Care Act provides guidelines that nursing homes and care facilities must follow when providing care to their residents. From time to time, however, a facility does not provide the level of care that is necessary and the result can be devastating. Levin & Perconti is representing the estate administrator of a nursing home resident who died as a result of alleged negligence. The lawsuit was filed in Cook County and is seeking damages of more than $50,000.

Failure to Prevent Infection

The nursing home resident in this case had a sternal wound which became severely infected. A sternal wound is the closure in the sternum left after open heart surgery. According to the NCBI, National Center for Biotechnology Information, up to 40% of patients who have this type of infection die. Because this type of infection is difficult to treat and can be fatal, patients must receive specialized care to ensure that the wound is kept clean and sterile. The caregivers in this situation apparently did not properly care for the wound and allowed it to become infected.

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January 3, 2016

Lawsuit Filed by Levin & Perconti for Negligence at Nursing Facility

by Levin & Perconti

A lawsuit was recently filed by Levin & Perconti on behalf of the family of a woman who died after suffering negligent care in a nursing home. The woman was a resident of Glen Oaks Nursing and Rehabilitation Centre, a part of Glen Health and Home Management, Inc. The woman fell and broke her leg and suffered head trauma which ultimately led to her death. The lawsuit is seeking damages of more than $50,000 as well as litigation expenses.

Risk of Falls
Anyone may fall from time to time; however, the elderly and those who are physically disabled are much more apt to fall down. When a fall does occur, older individuals are less able to catch themselves and they may suffer severe injuries. That may be precisely what occurred in this situation. The woman was a resident of the center for two years, during which time she had some hospitalizations. She required daily care with everyday activities that included transfers and ambulation. According to the lawsuit, the woman fell, breaking her leg and hitting her head. In addition to the fracture of her right humerus, the woman also had a serious subdural hematoma.

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November 17, 2015

Neglect Case Filed Against Illinois Nursing Home

by Levin & Perconti

A lawsuit has been filed in Cook County against a nursing home in Arlington Heights, IL. The suit was filed by the son whose elderly father was allegedly neglected while a resident in the facility. The suit names the nursing home, Manorcare Health Services as well as HCR Healthcare and a registered nurse who worked at the home. According to the lawsuit, the man suffered several falls and a head injury. Additionally, he had skin breakdown in some areas due to pressure sores. These injuries were the direct result of neglect on the part of the nursing home and nurse, states the lawsuit.

Levin & Perconti Filed the Case
Attorney Jordan S. Powell of Levin & Perconti and another attorney filed the lawsuit on behalf of the man’s son. The client’s father, Harry Sorci, was a resident of Manorcare in Arlington Heights, IL from April 2012 to October 2014. Manorcare Health Services is located at 715 W. Central Rd., Arlington Heights, IL, 60005. The lawsuit alleges that the facility did not take proper care of Mr. Sorci. As a result, the man suffered a head injury as well as pressure sores and died on October 3, 2014. The lawsuit seeks damages of more than $50,000. Bruises, head injuries, and pressure sores are common signs of neglect, which is a common occurrence in nursing homes across the country.

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March 4, 2015

CILA Resident Dies Due to Alleged Carelessness-- Levin & Perconti Help Family File Lawsuit

by Levin & Perconti

The Anixter Center is one of the biggest providers for the disabled in the Chicagoland area, and has held a state operating license as a group home. In a recent unfortunate incident, on the first day of November 2014, an Anixter resident choked on food and died while on a group trip outside the home when the group stopped for fast food. It has been alleged that his caregivers did not provide the mandated one-on-one supervision to the patient during mealtime.

The Tragic Case

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March 10, 2014

Illinois Nuring Home Negligence Case Filed As a Result of Leg Amputation

by Levin & Perconti

Negligence of various sorts is a serious problem at nursing home facilities across the United States. Oftentimes people don’t realize the gravity of the term negligence until their loved one has been severely injured or hurt. That is why vigilance is a necessity when you have a loved on in a nursing home facility. Frequent trips to the nursing home are important, plus documenting the care of the individual who is being care for, and making note of any changes in your loved one’s behavior - these are key elements to keeping an eye out for potential abuse or negligence.

Unfortunately, even when families are vigilant, keep notes, make consistent visits, and so forth, their loved one can fall victim to negligence and even abuse (these two problems oftentimes intersect). This is certainly true when it comes to nursing homes in the state of Illinois, and we at Levin & Perconti have defended many families who have had the misfortune of a loved one being neglected or abused.

Levin & Perconti Neglect Lawsuit
Indeed, that is the case for a former resident of Presence Ballard Nursing Center. Our attorneys, Michael F. Bonamarte and Eva C. Sosnowska, filed a lawsuit on February 19th in the Cook County District Court against Presence RHC Senior Services Corp., alleging negligence for devastating injuries to our client.

That suit asserts that our client resided at the defendant facility from Nov. 29, 2012 until Dec. 29, 2012. During that period of time, our client required supervision and prolonged assistance as a result of medical problems. However, due to the negligent care at the facility, our client developed a severe medical condition, a pressure ulcer on his left heel. It eventually became so infected that it became gangrenous, resulting in a total amputation of his left leg on April 10, 2013.

Protect IL Nursing Home Resident Rights
Our lawyers are committed to advocating for improved nursing home care to prevent incidents of abuse and negligence and preventable medical mistakes. It is clear that our client should not have lost his leg. If the nursing home facility had cared for him properly, he would have been spared the devastating injury. Instead staff failed to provide appropriate care and supports given his condition and as a result, he had to undergo a difficult and painful surgery. His recovery has also been hard on both him and his family.

When incidents like this happen to your family, it is important to reach out to trustworthy legal counsel for help. We are fiercely committed to representing families who have endured this sort of gross negligence. No individual or family should have to go through a legal battle without good, reliable, and knowledgeable legal advisors. These cases occur too often. The attorneys here at Levin & Perconti are proud to work with families and are armed with years of experience and the resources needed to fight on your behalf.

See Other Blog Posts:

5 Tips for Detecting Elder Abuse or Neglect in Nursing Home Facilities

$700,000 Settlement After Resident Dies from Bed Sores and Dehydration at West Suburban Cook County Nursing Home

March 8, 2014

Nurse and Rehabilitation Center Named in Illinois Wrongful Death Suit

by Levin & Perconti

The adult son of an 85-year-old former nursing home resident has filed a wrongful death suit against a Niles, IL nursing home facility. The wrongful death lawsuit was filed on February 3rd, 2014 in the Cook County Court against a registered nurse and Regency Rehabilitation Center. In addition, the lawsuit has also named a physician as a respondent in discovery.

Our attorneys, Jordan S. Powell and Katherine Moorhouse, are representing the decedent's family.

Our client's mother lived at Regency Rehabilitation Center LLC at 6631 Milwaukee Ave. in Niles from November 15, 2008 to February 5, 2012. Our lawsuit alleges that the defendants did not take proper care of our client's mother, which resulted in pressure sores that eventually became infected and needed surgery. This is a common form of neglect in nursing homes across the United States, i.e., sores that go untreated. When left untreated, the consequences can be dire and life threatening. Obviously, the latter was the case for our client's mother, and that is why we are representing the case, to fight for her rights.

IL Nursing Home Lawsuit
We assert that, due to the Regency Rehabilitation Center’s negligence, our client's mother died on February 2nd, 2012. The lawsuit seeks damages as a result of her death in excess of $50,000, along with court costs, alleging that if staff at the defendant facility had taken appropriate measures, our client's mother would not have died from sores that could have been been easily treated.

Our client's mother is not the only person who has fallen victim to a tragic, untimely, and unnecessary death as a result of inadequate nursing home care. In fact, our law firm has represented hundreds of families and individuals in nursing home lawsuits because we believe families and their loved ones deserve to have a voice in the courtroom, especially when it comes to negligence, abuse, and wrongful death.

In addition, we also represent families who have loved ones who have suffered injuries from neglect. For instance, two other attorneys in our law firm are representing a man in a case that involves a resident who developed sores in his left heel. The sores eventually became gangrenous, the infection spread, and the man’s entire leg had to be amputated. Like our client's mother mentioned above, if this man had received proper care, he would still have a leg and foot.

Unfortunately, these cases are all too common across the United States. That is why we urge clients to take detailed notes on potential neglect and abuse. In addition to taking good notes, we also urge you to find the best representation in your time of need.

Related Links:

5 Tips for Detecting Elder Abuse or Neglect in Nursing Home Facilities

$700,000 Settlement After Resident Dies from Bed Sores and Dehydration at West Suburban Cook County Nursing Home

October 4, 2013

Levin & Perconti Settle Chicago Nursing Home Pressure Sore Case

by Levin & Perconti

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.

See Other Blog Posts:

Alternative Long-Term Care Report Issued

More Illinois Nursing Homes Not Fully Meeting Sprinkler Requirements

March 4, 2013

Levin & Perconti Attorneys File Suit Against Joliet’s Hillcrest Nursing & Rehab

by Levin & Perconti

Our legal team is proud to represent nursing home residents and their families whenever negligent care by a facility causes preventable harm. There is simply no excuse for violating basic safety standards and allowing our vulnerable seniors and those with disabilities to suffer the consequences.

Recently our neglect attorneys filed suit against Hillcrest Nursing and Rehabilitation in Joliet on behalf of the family of a 49-year old former resident of the home, John Eric Rush. Mr. Rush suffered serious injury as a result of poor care and negligence by facility caregivers. Specifically, three lawyers from Levin & Perconti, Steven M. Levin, Jaime A. Koziol and Greta M. Hafeman, are representing the family in the suit filed in Cook County Circuit Court.

The Case
Mr. Rush needed long-term care because of several medical setbacks, including multiple strokes that resulted in paralysis on his right side. His impairments were severe, making it difficult for him to walk on his own or speak. His mobility problems placed him at heightened risk of developing bed sores, something that the caregivers knew about and were required to protect against.

Unfortunately, in a series of events that is all too familiar for those who follow neglect cases, the caregivers did not provide the close support that John needed. As a result, he developed several bed sores and was severely dehydrated. One of those pressure sores developed on his heel. The sore deteriorated his skin to such a point following infection that it had to be amputated. Sadly, the amputation was on his left side. His right side was already paralyzed as a result of the strokes, and so the loss severely affected his already significant mobility issues. Recognizing the poor care and injury caused by the home, John’s family moved him to a different location following the amputation.

John’s sad case is a testament to the fact that instead of providing proper care to maximize one’s quality of life, some long-term care facilities only watch as a resident’s condition is made worse by poor care.

In explaining their pursuit of legal accountability John’s sisted noted, “When John arrived at the facility he was able to walk with a walker and supervision. When I removed him from their care, he had to have a leg amputation and was deathly ill. I wasn’t sure if he would survive. If my actions against Hillcrest can save at least one patient and their family the worry, horror, frustration and pain that we encountered, then it is all worth it.”

Legal Accountability
It is essential for these nursing homes to be held accountable when they cause harm in this way. Sadly, many homes continue to harm resident after resident unless forced to change or close. This facility has shown those tendencies. Attorney Steve Levin explains, “Our firm currently has another lawsuit pending against Hillcrest. We will continue to take action to protect the safety and well-being of current and future Hillcrest residents and hope to send a message that inadequate care and abuse will not be tolerated. We urge anyone who has witnessed abuse or neglect at Hillcrest to come forward and tell.”

See Other Blog Posts:

Billions Spent on Poor Nursing Home Care

Former Caregivers Recover Following “Whistleblower” Lawsuit

November 19, 2010

UIC Hospital Board Approves $16.2 Million Medical Malpractice Settlement

by Levin & Perconti

Part of $17.7 M Settlement Obtained by Levin & Perconti for Brain Injured Client

On Thursday evening, the University of Illinois Board of Trustees approved a $16.2 million settlement, part of a $17.7 million settlement, for our client, George Nissen, who suffered a devastating brain injury while under the care of nursing staff at the University of Illinois at Chicago Medical Center (UIC). Chicago injury lawyer Steve Levin, along with associate Margaret Battersby, represented George, now 47, in the medical malpractice lawsuit.

George, a former Stone Park, IL police officer, sustained a brain stem herniation when UIC hospital staff failed to monitor his intracranial pressure (ICP) during an external ventricular drain (EVD) challenge. As a result of the nursing staff’s negligence, he now suffers from quadriplegia, cannot eat , and can only communicate to family, friends and caregivers through eye movements and head shaking.

The lawsuit alleged that during this challenge, nursing staff failed to properly monitor George's intracranial pressure. During an EVD challenge, nursing staff must closely monitor a patient’s ICP to ensure that it does not exceed acceptable limits. When a patient’s ICP level gets too high, a nurse must notify a physician. Throughout the night, George's ICP was at dangerous levels, but his caregivers failed to recognize these changes in his neurological condition.

“As a result of this negligence, George’s ICP level dangerously elevated, his neurological status declined, and his physicians were not notified until he had already suffered catastrophic injuries,” said attorney Steven Levin.

“The settlement was reached on the eve of trial,” added Steve. “Now that the Board has approved the settlement, the family must wait for the Court to approve the settlement order. This should occur in the coming weeks.” In addition to the $16.2 million paid by UIC, a defendant nursing agency will also pay $1.5 million.

Click on the link to read the full press release announcing this medical malpractice settlement.

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November 16, 2010

Negligence Lawsuit Filed Against Chicago-Area Nursing Home: ManorCare at Elk Grove Village

by Levin & Perconti

Two of our Chicago nursing home lawyers at Levin & Perconti filed a nursing home negligence lawsuit today against ManorCare at Elk Grove Village. The suit was filed on behalf of a nursing home resident victimized by the facility’s inadequate care—Margaret Mock of Schaumburg.

Margaret was 76 when she was admitted to ManorCare in August of 2009, about 15 months ago. She decided to move into the facility to rehabilitate from recent surgery she underwent following a fall at her home. She had broken her wrist, elbow, and hip in the accident. Before the home fall Margaret was able to walk on her own with a walker.

The nursing staff at ManorCare was alerted to the fact that Margaret was at risk for a fall. Obviously because she was at the nursing home specifically to recover from a previous fall, it was imperative that the nursing home staff ensure that Margaret not suffer another fall. Unfortunately, the facility did not that that responsibility very seriously—no care plan was created to safeguard her against the risk of fall. At the very least, it would have been normal protocol for a process to be put in place to transfer her safely to and from her wheelchair.

The lack of care taken ultimately led to a serious fall only a bit over a month after arriving at ManorCare. On September 26, 2009 Margaret fell while a nursing assistant improperly transferred her from her bed to wheelchair. The consequences of the fall were severe. She broke her leg in two places, and was unable to undergo surgery to repair the injury because of her already weakened condition.

Continue reading "Negligence Lawsuit Filed Against Chicago-Area Nursing Home: ManorCare at Elk Grove Village" »

September 2, 2010

Family Files Nursing Home Neglect Lawsuit Against ManorCare Health Services

by Levin & Perconti

Two of our attorneys, Steven Levin and Scott Richard, filed a lawsuit against ManorCare Health Services-Hinsdale today following the wrongful death of Dolores “Dee” Howorth. Dee died less than a month after moving into the Hinsdale nursing home and being admitted to the facility’s dementia unit. She suffered from Alzheimer’s but was alert and active—she remained a lively, integral part of her family. In fact, her son Hank Howorth and his wife Chrissie specifically chose the facility at ManorCare because they wanted their mother to be given what they assumed would be specialized care for her dementia.

Unfortunately, specialized care was the last thing Dee would receive at the facility. Within the first four days, ManorCare doctors prescribed Dee two medications: Ativan and Seroquel. On top of that, the facility immediately assigned Dee to a wheel-chair with a lap restraint.

It wasn’t long before the family noticed clear changes in their once lively family member. When Hank and Chrissie first visited, Dee seemed overmedicated, drowsy, and was constantly slumped in her wheelchair. Hank questioned nursing home staff about his mother’s state at the facility, but he was assured that her condition was only temporary.

Sadly, there was nothing temporary about it. Staff members at the facility failed to properly hydrate Dee, and failed to notice her clear change in condition. Dee lost 16 pounds in just over two weeks, and she showed clear signs of dehydration—dry skin, chalky mouth, and trouble swallowing. By mid-April, less than a month after arriving at the facility, Dee died at a local hospital from acute renal failure caused by dehydration.

Dee is survived by two grown sons, Hank and Thomas, and six grandchildren. “After my mother’s death, it was business as usual for the nursing home, but for our family it was devastating,” said Hank. “We need to hold ManorCare accountable because the nursing home robbed her of precious time with her children and grandchildren.”

Attorney Steve Levin explains the nexus of the lawsuit: “ManorCare had a duty to protect her well-being and dignity but neglected to monitor her condition or provide her with even the basic necessities, causing both Dee and her family to suffer needlessly.”

See further coverage of this nursing home lawsuit by following the links below:

Suburban Life

Chicago Tribune

Trib Local Hinsdale

Chicago Breaking News

June 6, 2010

Chicago Nursing Home Lawyer Settles Abuse Lawsuit

by Levin & Perconti

Chicago nursing home lawyer Susan Novosad of Levin & Perconti helped the family of a victim of nursing home abuse in their settlement against the Mercy Health Care Rehabilitation Center, securing a $690,000 settlement for the 87-year-old victim's family recently.

The victim was initially admitted to the nursing home after suffering a stroke that caused her some left-sided weakness. When she entered the nursing home she required supervision and needed assistance with activities. She was known to be a fall risk. However, despite the nursing home’s knowledge of her fall risk, they allowed her to fall. She suffered a right femur fracture which was treated with a brace. While still in the nursing home’s care, she suffered a skin breakdown from the brace rubbing against her leg. This breakdown still went untreated by the nursing home staff and the victim developed Osteomyelitis. The combination of the fracture and the infection contributed to the victim’s death seven months later, according to the settlement report.

The nursing home negligence complaint alleged that the defendant nursing home failed to appropriately develop, implement or revise a care plan to address the decedent’s fall risk and failed to ensure that the decedent received proper supervision to prevent falls. It also stated that after her fall, the nursing home failed to provide preventative measures to avoid the development of skin breakdown, and failed to provide the necessary treatment and services to promote the healing of the decedent’s skin breakdown. If you believe that a nursing home is not addressing your loved one’s risk for falls, we recommend that you consult with staff to address the preventions they are using to prevent falls. If your loved one endures a serious injury in a nursing home fall, consult a nursing home lawyer.

May 23, 2010

Chicago Nursing Home Lawyers Settle Neglect Case

by Levin & Perconti

Chicago nursing home attorney Susan Novosad of Levin & Perconti helped a victim of nursing home negligence settle a lawsuit against Manorcare Health Services, Inc. in Libertyville, Illinois. HRC Manor Care at Libertyville settled the nursing home lawsuit for $650,000 with the former nursing home resident. The victim was first admitted to the nursing home in April 2007 for rehabilitation after spinal surgery. While the staff did develop a care plan, they failed to include any individualized approaches to prevent pressure ulcers. About a month after her admission to the nursing home, employees discovered a very large necrotic sacral pressure ulcer and she had to be transferred to a local hospital for treatment. The nursing home victim home injuries included an infected pressure ulcers and osteomyelitis which resulted in surgery and a prolonged long-term care stay.

Residents in nursing homes are susceptible to developing pressure ulcers because many are in wheelchairs or are immobile. If nursing home staff fails to turn or reposition residents on a regular basis, residents may develop pressures ulcers. Staff must also frequently check the skin condition of residents who are at risk for pressure sores to ensure that sores are not forming. Prevention is the key, as they are very difficult to treat. If a nursing home does everything they can to prevent pressure sores and a sore forms, the home has a duty to treat the injury to try to prevent it from worsening. To learn more, visit the Mayo Clinic's page on pressure sore prevention.

March 4, 2010

Chicago Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Steve Levin Quoted about “Angel of Death” Case

by Levin & Perconti

The Chicago nursing home abuse lawyers of Levin & Perconti filed an amended complaint in the McHenry County Circuit Court yesterday in a lawsuit against Woodstock Residence. Our attorneys represent the family of Virginia Cole in a civil lawsuit against the nursing home and two former employees. The original complaint alleges that the nursing home and named employees administered lethal doses of morphine that led to Cole’s death at the age of 78. The amended complaint adds the medical director at the time of Cole’s death as a defendant, alleging that the director was negligent in his care of Cole. The complaint alleges that the medical director diagnosed Cole incorrectly, neglected to determine if she was in pain before he ordered morphine and failed to make sure the nursing home was handling controlled substances, such as morphine, properly.

According to Illinois nursing home attorney Steve Levin, the lawsuit does not allege that the named medical director was aware that employees were giving Cole and other nursing home residents unneeded doses of morphine, a narcotic pain killer that is used to treat severe pain. The medical director was also named in a wrongful death suit that was filed on behalf of another Woodstock resident whose death is in question.

In addition to the civil wrongful death lawsuit, a criminal lawsuit has also been filed against the two former employees. We will continue to provide news and information on the “Angel of Death” case in McHenry County as it becomes available. To read the Northwest Herald’s coverage of the nursing home lawsuit, click on the hyperlink.

March 1, 2010

Chicago Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers: Wandering and Elopement Causes Great Worries in Illinois Nursing Homes

by Levin & Perconti

Wandering and elopement has become a great problem in nursing homes throughout the country. When patients are not properly monitored they can leave the securities of their facilities and find themselves without guidance in the outside community.

The Chicago nursing home lawyers at Levin & Perconti have filed many lawsuits on behalf of the victims of wandering and elopement and have won favorable verdicts. For example, our attorneys helped a victim obtain a $950,000 settlement against the American Baptist Homes of the Midwest. This case involved an 85-year-old woman with dementia who was allowed to wander outside and freeze to death. This same fact pattern occurred in a case against Manorcare Health Services. In that case, Levin & Perconti helped the family of a 75-year-old victim receive an $825,000 settlement. Once again, the victim was wandering in the bitter cold and died of hypothermia. Wandering unfortunately has become all too common in nursing homes.

A nursing home can take measures to minimize elopement exposure. The first way is to establish a written elopement risk-management plan. They can also establish written screening criteria for identifying residents who may become potential elopers. By keeping normal exit alarms and making sure that all stairwells are alarmed, most nursing homes can help reduce wandering. Finally, the staff should be quick to investigate any activated door alarms. Nursing home staff should be trained to closely monitor the whereabouts of all of their patients. To learn all the ways that nursing homes can diminish wandering and elopement please click the link.

February 26, 2010

“Angel of Death” Defendant Receives Assistance in Nursing Home Neglect Case

by Levin & Perconti

The Northwest Herald recently reported that the State of Illinois will give Penny Whitlock $10,000 to pay for a defense expert witness. Whitlock is accused allowing another staff member to administer fatal doses of morphine to residents at Woodstock Residence, a Woodstock, IL nursing home that is now under new ownership. Recently, the defendant testified that she has spent over $100,000 to defend herself in court. The State of Illinois’ financial assistance would pay for an expert forensic toxicologist to testify.

The Daily Herald reports that Whitlock faces five counts of criminal neglect and two counts for obstructing justice. She is accused of failing to report that another staff member, Marty Himebaugh, was giving residents high doses of morphine. She is also accused of allowing Himebaugh to administer the drugs. The McHenry County prosecutor asked that she be held responsible for paying the county back if she is convicted.

The Illinois nursing home neglect attorneys at Levin & Perconti represent the family of one of the residents whose death is in question. Our attorneys filed a civil lawsuit against the nursing home, alleging that the nursing home's administration was aware that staff was administering morphine to residents without an order or outside prescribed parameters. As a result, our 78-year-old client died. We will continue to update our nursing home blog with related stories as both the civil and criminal cases unfold. To read the Daily Herald’s report on the Woodstock Residence case follow the link.

February 8, 2010

Chicago, Illinois Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorney Steven Levin on Nursing Home Safety

by Levin & Perconti

Chicago nursing home attorney Steven Levin wrote to the Chicago Tribune to praise them for their commitment to uncovering nursing home abuse. He applauded the Tribune’s efforts in raising public awareness of Chicago nursing home abuse. Attorney Levin believes that there is a critical need for adequate staffing in nursing homes to protect residents from harm or abuse. When nursing-home owners focus on census over patient care, nursing home negligence ensues. Care workers must be sufficiently trained to create an environment void of physical and sexual abuse. Steven Levin urged readers to contact their respective state representatives to demand legislation that provides minimum staffing standards for Illinois nursing homes. This will help avoid Chicago nursing home abuse. To read the entire letter to the editor, please check out the link.

January 14, 2010

Chicago Lawyers Levin & Perconti File Nursing Home Negligence Lawsuit against The Renaissance at 87th

by Levin & Perconti

Chicago nursing home abuse attorneys Steven Levin and Margaret Battersby of Levin & Perconti filed a nursing home negligence lawsuit against the Renaissance at 87th nursing home in Chicago. The nursing home lawsuit alleges that the 92-year-old African-American woman died because the nursing home failed to properly care for her gastric tube. In December 2007, the woman received a gastric tube to receive food and medications and it malfunctioned. In May 2009, the resident’s g-tube fell out and the nursing home staff had to insert a Foley catheter to replace the tube.

The resident’s daughter then noticed changes in her mother’s condition and behavior. When the daughter brought this to the nursing home staff’s attention they ignored her complaint. On June 1, the Director of Nursing immediately recognized her urgent medical care. She was transferred to the hospital and died on June 2. The Illinois Department of Public Health launched an investigation and cited the Renaissance at 87th. Nursing home neglect lawyer Steven Levin stated that The Renaissance at 87th violated the Nursing Home Care Act by failing to provide the proper care to prevent the g-tube from malfunctioning. He added that as a nursing home lawyer, he oftentimes sees nursing home owners put profits before their resident’s needs. The resident’s daughter visited her mother daily and found that the staff had not bathed her or changed her undergarments. Many family members could not communicate their disapproval for the nursing care and had no advocates to speak on behalf of them. The Renaissance at 87th is among the many homes in Illinois that have a one star rating, the lowest possible, from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Nursing Home Compare Website.

January 10, 2010

Chicago Nursing Home Lawyers Reach Record Settlement Against Coles County Home

by Levin & Perconti

The Chicago nursing home lawyers at Levin & Perconti recently reached the largest nursing home settlement in a case against a nursing home in Coles, County IL. The Prairie View Center in Charleston, IL and a doctor agreed to pay $700,000 to the family of a 43-year-old victim who died from injuries he suffered while he was a resident a the nursing home. The victim was admitted to Prairie View Care Center on March 19, 2002. He suffered from severe cognitive impairments and was dependent on the nursing home staff for all of is daily activities. His impairments also made him unable to communicate his needs to the nursing home staff. In the two months he spent in the nursing home before he was discharged he developed a massive infected stage IV bedsore on his sacrum. The pressure wound was so deep that his sacral bone was visible. This caused his overall condition to deteriorate and he was hospitalized. Six months later he died after his inability to bounce back from the pressure wound. Nursing home lawyer Michael Bonamarte stated the nursing home failed to prevent the progression of the victim’s sacral pressure sore, and he eventually died from complications related to his injury. In 2006, Prairie View Care Center was bought by new owners who changed the name of the nursing home. Chicago attorney Steven Levin stated that it is common for nursing home owners to own multiple nursing homes, many of which are far from where they are located. Without oversight nursing homes administrators are not in touch with the day-to-day happenings in the nursing home. This causes nursing home abuse to go unnoticed.

January 9, 2010

Chicago Nursing Home Neglect Lawyers Reach Settlement for Bedrail Entrapment Death

by Levin & Perconti

Levin and Perconti has reached a settlement with a south suburban nursing home after a victim died when her neck became entrapped between her bedrail and mattress at the nursing home. Attorneys Steven Levin and Michael Bonamarte represented the family and reached a $570,000 settlement for the adult grandchildren of a 99-year-old resident. The client’s grandmother was admitted to the facility on December 6, 2007, after being hospitalized with seizures. According to the nursing home lawyers, bedrails were placed on her bed upon admittance. On January 27, 2008 a nurse was making her nightly rounds and discovered the client’s grandmother on the floor next to her bed with her head entrapped between the bedrail and mattress. While healthcare professionals tried to revive her, her injuries were too severe and she died hours later. The autopsy confirmed that the client’s grandmother died from compressional asphyxia when her neck became entrapped between the bedrail and mattress. The compression from the entrapment was so severe that in addition to cutting off her oxygen supply, it fractured a bone in her neck. The coroner stated that her death was similar to strangulation or hanging. The nursing home lawyers argued that the nursing home placed her in danger of serious harm by using bedrails. Nursing home lawyer Michael Bonamarte stated that it was a terrifying way to die and noted that this could easily be avoided. Chicago lawyer Steven Levin added that the nursing home failed to consult the decedent’s family members regarding the use of bedrails. After the wrongful death, the Illinois Department of Public Health cited the facility for improper nursing care and resident injury, fining them $10,000.