July 22, 2013

Settlement Reached In Nursing Home Case

by Levin & Perconti

A lawsuit was recently settled in a nursing home neglect case again HCR Manor Care. As mentioned in a new WV Records story, the underlying suit was filed in early February 2012 by the administrator of the estate of a former resident at a HCR Manor Care facility. The suit claimed that the four-year resident of the facility suffered neglect which resulted in serious injuries, pain, suffering, and ultimately, her death. The 85-year old allegedly had pressure sores develop, infections, and various other physical and mental problems resulting from lackluster care. Allegations were also made about a nursing home fall, with premises liability claims included in the lawsuit. The suit was eventually settled by the family for a confidential amount.

$90 Million Case Still Going
One of the most high-profile nursing home neglect cases in recent memory also involved the nursing home chain HCR Manor Care. What made the case so unique and headline-grabbing was the size of the verdict against the company after a jury heard evidence about systematic problems in care against the chain--$90 million.

In another case against HCR Manor Care, a female resident was allegedly mistreated to the point that she was not even fed properly. As a result, the senior died of dehydration following her nursing home stay. That case ultimately went to trial and a jury wa asked to settle the dispute. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiff. The family was awarded $11.5 million in compensatory damages for the losses sustained by their loved one as a result of poor care. On top of that, in a somewhat unique move, the jury also awarded $80 million in punitive damage.

As readers know, punitive damage are quite rare in all civil lawsuits. Unlike compensatory damages--which are tied to actual losses--punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant. In this case, the purpose was to actually make an impact on the large nursing home chain, hopefully spurring them to change practices and prevent more residents from being hurt unnecessarily.

Even though the jury reached its verdict, the family has yet to receive a dime, because the defendants in the case are appealing the ruling. Specifically, they are arguing to the state’s Supreme Court that the lawsuit implicated a damage cap law , which arbitrarily limits the awards a plaintiff can receive, regardless of what a jury decides. The nursing home chain claims the maximum non-economic damage award (let alone punitive damage award) is only $500,000.

These two cases are reminders of a few principles that underlie nursing home neglect lawsuits. First, many nursing home chains exhibit substandard care over and over again. With profits so large, many of these facilities simply assume that lawsuit payouts are part of doing business. Residents are hurt over and over with little changing. Second, even then, facilities often do everything in their power to prevent paying for the consequences of their negligence, even if it involves appeals that drag out the process for years. Unfortunately, fairness for residents is often low on the totem pole for owners and operators of the largest nursing home systems.

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September 30, 2011

Levin & Perconti Nursing Home Lawsuits Against ManorCare at South Holland Settle for $1.75 Million

by Levin & Perconti

This week our Chicago nursing home neglect attorneys at Levin & Perconti announced the conclusion of two separate Illinois nursing home neglect cases against ManorCare at South Holland. Both lawsuits were settled with the facility without the need to go to trial—the latest being approved by the judge in the case just last week. The first settlement was for $1 million while the facility will pay the second family $750,000 for their actions.

Our Illinois nursing home attorneys Steven M. Levin, Margaret P. Battersby, and Tina Dave represented the families in these cases. In both cases the residents developed serious pressure sores which should have been prevented. The pressure sores caused the vulnerable seniors’ health conditions to deteriorate quickly and led to untold suffering for the residents. As Attorney Levin explained, “the victims’ families filed lawsuits to draw attention to the problems at Manor Care South Holland, with the hopes of preventing this from happening to future residents. Our clients’ cases illustrate that there were serious systematic issues at the facility.”

The first case involved an 80-year-old resident who developed several infected stage IV pressure sores during her five month stay at the facility. In this case the victim ultimately died from complications of those sores. Stage IV represents the most serious versions of these ulcers. These sores are virtually always preventable if proper care is provided to seniors who are at risk of developing them. The second Manorcare nursing home settlement was reached with the family of an 82-year-old resident. The victim was only planning to stay at the facility for rehabilitation purposes and then returning home. Unfortunately, that plan did not hold true. Instead, during her six week stay at the home, the victim developed a necrotic State IV pressure sore that required surgery and did not fully heal for two years. In addition, she was malnourished and became immobile while living in the nursing home. The family moved her out of the home when they discovered the mistreatment, but she never fully recovered from the injuries which developed at the facility.

As is often the case when many residents develop painful pressure sores, investigations revealed that cut corners at the facility led to the mistreatment of the seniors at the home. One former nurse at ManorCare at South Holland testified that during her time at the home, the facility was chronically understaffed, making them unable to provide the care the residents needed. When these homes do not have the employees required to provide necessary services, then the development of things like pressure sores are just a matter of time. As Attorney Levin explained the “wound care nurse testified to witnessing many residents lying in their own urine or feces and residents with pressure sores not being turned or repositioned.”

This sort of mistreatment should never be tolerated. It is important for all local families to stand up to this neglect and make their voices heard. It is only with vocal advocates for victimized seniors that changes are usually made to ensure future victims are spared.

See Our Related Blog Posts:

Levin & Perconti File New Nursing Home Lawsuit Against Lakeview Nursing & Rehabilitation Center

Negligent Illinois Nursing Homes Identified By Federal Regulators

September 26, 2011

Illinois Nursing Home Lawsuit Against ManorCare of Westmont Filed By Levin & Perconti

by Levin & Perconti

This week our Illinois nursing home attorney Susan Novosad officially submitted a complaint in a new Illinois nursing home neglect lawsuit against ManorCare of Westmont. The case stems from the death of a former resident at the facility. The victim was in her late 80s when she entered the facility in November of 2009; she died less than a year later. Unfortunately, the record indicates that in her time at the facility the resident did not receive the level of care to which she was entitled under Illinois law. This mistreatment ultimately helped precipitate the woman’s death.

Attorney Novosad filed the complaint this week against the facility and its parent company alleging statutory violations of the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act as well as common law negligence and wrongful death claims. The neglect was evidenced most clearly by the fact that the resident developed multiple pressure sores during her time at the ManorCare nursing home. Of course, one of the main duties owed to resident of a long-term facility is the prevention of these sores. As blog readers are well aware, pressure sores are virtually always preventable skin problems. They develop only when the care provided to residents is inadequate.

In the case of this latest victim, she should have been identified as being at high risk for pressure sore development upon her admission to the facility. Knowing that she was likely to develop these painful, potentially-deadly conditions, the staff members at the facility should have enacted a protocol to ensure that she did not develop the problem. Sadly, the facility failed in that duty. As a result the victim developed multiple pressure ulcers which eventually became infected.

The injuries that the resident suffered as a result of this Illinois nursing home neglect were severe. Her overall physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being deteriorated following the problems. The multiple pressure sores were particularly painful—one of them included a stage IV sacral decubitus ulcer. The sores became infected, which eventually contributed to her death eleven months after she arrived at the home.

The common law claims against the facility similarly allege that the basic duty of care owed to the resident was breached in this case. The victim suffered a variety of injuries as a result of her not receiving the level of nursing home care to which she was reasonably entitled. That includes pain and suffering, disability, disfigurement, medical expenses, and other losses. According to the state’s survival statute, the special administrator of the victim’s estate is entitled to receive compensation for those losses which are to be added to the woman’s estate.

Continue reading "Illinois Nursing Home Lawsuit Against ManorCare of Westmont Filed By Levin & Perconti" »

July 13, 2011

Illinois Family Obtains $500,000 Settlement Against ManorCare at Palos Heights Nursing Home

by Levin & Perconti

Today our Chicago nursing home negligence lawyers Michael F. Bonamarte, IV and Margaret P. Battersby helped a family obtain fairness when the judge approved and ordered a $500,000 nursing home negligence settlement. Our client had suffered a stroke and was hospitalized for a brief period of time. After hospitalization, she was admitted to the nursing home for rehabilitation. After fourteen days of rehabilitation, she returned home.

When our client was admitted to the ManorCare at Palos Heights East, she had a Stage I pressure ulcer. Pressure ulcers are injuries to the skin and tissue that are caused by prolonged pressure on the body. Pressure ulcers are categorized into four different stages, with Stage I indicating an area of redness and Stage IV indicating damage to the muscle and bone.

Although the nursing home knew that our client was at risk for pressure ulcers, they did not develop a plan of care for her pressure ulcer until the eleventh day of her fourteen day stay. The nursing home did not treat her condition with pressure reliving techniques such as repositioning, turning, or a pressure reduction mattress. Instead, the nursing home allowed our client’s Stage I pressure ulcer to progress into a Stage IV pressure ulcer. As her pressure ulcer worsened, her skin broke and exposed the wound to contaminants. Unfortunately for our client the nursing home neglected to protect the wound, causing the wound to become infected and necrotic.

Suspecting that the nursing home neglected our client, her family called the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). IDPH investigated ManorCare at Palos Heights and found that the nursing home failed to provide appropriate care and treatment of our client’s pressure ulcer. Furthermore, the IDPH cited the nursing home for failing to provide our client timely medical treatment.

As a result of the nursing home’s neglect, our client’s pressure ulcer was never able to heal. She suffered from the painful pressure ulcer until her death about ten months after she left the nursing home. Although the pressure ulcer lawsuit settlement can never make-up for our client’s family’s loss, it will help to cover the extensive financial burden of medical and funeral expenses.

Continue reading "Illinois Family Obtains $500,000 Settlement Against ManorCare at Palos Heights Nursing Home" »

December 14, 2010

Nation’s Largest Health Care Real Estate Investment Buys 338 Nursing Homes

by Levin & Perconti

Bloomberg News reported today on big news in the real estate world involving healthcare facilities and nursing homes. The country’s largest investment trust in healthcare real estate—HCP, Inc.—announced plans to buy 338 properties from Carlyle Group’s HCR ManorCare, Inc.

The REIT deal (real estate investment trust) is the largest in years, with the total sale worth $6.1 billion. That includes $3.5 billion in cash, $1.7 billion reinvested from existing debt, and $852 million in stock.

Many Illinois families are familiar with the sellers who operate hundreds of nursing homes under the ManorCare name. The 338 properties sold are all post-acute, nursing, and assisted-living facilities. The company operates properties in 30 states, including here in Illinois.

HCR ManorCare will continue to run the facilities under a long-term lease. The rents on the facilities will increase each year under the deal, and the buying company reserves an option of obtaining a 9.9% stake in the company.

An analyst explained that the CEO of HCP Inc. “has long indicated an interest in investing in premier nursing-home assets, and ManorCare represents such an operator.”

Continue reading "Nation’s Largest Health Care Real Estate Investment Buys 338 Nursing Homes" »

December 1, 2010

ManorCare Nursing Home Found Liable In Death of Nursing Home Resident

by Levin & Perconti

According to the Chicago Tribune, a jury recently handed down a verdict against a nursing home in a lawsuit filed following a tragic death of one of its residents.

Following the trial a jury ordered Friendship ManorCare of Grinell to pay $546,000 to the estate of a former resident. In June of last year the 89-year old victim was being transported to a nearby hospital to have tests run. He was put on a gurney and wheeled toward an ambulance waiting outside the nursing home. However, the employees were not very careful when moving the gurney. They failed to notice the quality of the sidewalk that they were pushing the man upon. Eventually one of the gurney wheels dropped into a crack on the sidewalk. This caused the wheeled bed to flip over and the man to come crashing onto the sidewalk.

The nursing home victim’s head struck the pavement hard in this fall. He slipped into a coma and died shortly after.

Continue reading "ManorCare Nursing Home Found Liable In Death of Nursing Home Resident" »

December 26, 2007

Florida nursing home employee union sues Carlyle Group after Manor Care buyout

by Levin & Perconti

Despite Carlyle Group's completion of the Manor Care buyout, the union that represents nursing home employees in Florida is suing, hoping to block the takeover. Manor Care, a chain of nursing homes, was recently bought by a private equity firm, Carlyle Group, for $6.3 billion. The transfer was completed the day after rulings that held up the buyout were dissolved in West Virginia and Michigan. The union, SEIU Healthcare Florida, has been fighting the takeover. There are 29 Manor Care facilities in Florida housing 3700 residents.

The lawsuit was brought about on the grounds that the Carlyle Groups license application was incomplete. Another plaintiff listed in the lawsuit is the son of a Manor Care resident. He recently stated, "I want to make sure Carlyle's takeover won't harm my mother's care." All of the parties are reviewing the lawsuit in this controversial acquisition.

December 14, 2007

West Virginia Holds Key to Carlyle Takeover

by Levin & Perconti

A national private investment firm’s purchase of a nursing home chain is being unnecessarily delayed in West Virginia by a union that’s putting politics before patients, company executives involved in the proposed sale said Thursday.

The Carlyle Group, a corporate buyout firm, plans to acquire HCR Manor Care, the nation’s largest nursing home chain, as part of a $6.3 billion deal.

Carlyle and Manor Care executives said the Service Employees International Union’s “coordinated campaign” to delay the sale is part of a national organizing effort to boost membership and unionize more nursing homes. Manor Care operates seven Heartland nursing homes in West Virginia.

For the full article, Click Here

December 13, 2007

Carlyle Group License Approved in Wisconsin to run 8 Manorcare Nursing Homes Statewide

by Levin & Perconti

In a decision that marks a new era in nursing-home ownership in Wisconsin, a license was approved Thursday to a private equity company to run eight Manorcare facilities statewide.

A spokeswoman for the state Department of Health and Family Services said the one-year probationary license will take effect after Manor Care notifies the department that its ownership transfer deal has closed with Carlyle Group, one of the nation's largest private equity companies.

Rick Rump, assistant vice president of corporate communications for Manor Care headquarters in Toledo, Ohio, said he expects the transaction to be closed by the end of the year. The transaction includes similar pending buyouts in other states.

Five of the eight Manor Care facilities are located in Northeastern Wisconsin, with two in Green Bay.

The decision comes three days after two of the state's biggest lobbying groups testified during a public hearing at the State Capitol against the $6 billion buyout.

Their main concerns were whether the corporate structure would be so complex that patients would have difficulty bringing lawsuits against the company for negligent injury or wrongful death, and whether ownership changes would result in declining quality of care.

For the full artcle, Click Here

October 25, 2007

Congress to investigate staff cuts in recently acquired nursing homes

by Levin & Perconti

When private equity groups purchase large nursing home chains, they don’t do it because they want to get in the business of caring for the elderly. They do it so that they can cut costs, increase profits, and then resell them at a higher price. The Carlyle Group’s $6.3 billion acquisition of HCR ManorCare is an example of this type of flipping opportunity, but because this involves the well-being of senior citizens and those who cannot otherwise care for themselves, the drastic measures that investment groups like Carlyle Group take to cut staff has drawn the attention of the government.

Continue reading "Congress to investigate staff cuts in recently acquired nursing homes" »

October 23, 2007

Manorcare purchaser Carlyle groups promises patients that care won’t suffer

by Levin & Perconti

The private equity firm Carlyle Group that created a stir when it purchases the Manorcare Nursing Home chain earlier this year put its promises to patients in writing this week. Vowing a “patient’s first” pledge, the facility has promised to provide adequate staffing and training for the staffers who care for the elderly. These promises raise questions as to whether Carlyle will follow through with their pledge considering the private equity giant purchased Manorcare to make the home profitable. The largest expense for nursing homes is staffing and in order to turn a profit corporate executives will often cut staffing, resulting in poor patient care. Bad care leads to injuries and death and our most vulnerable members of society suffer. Manorcare is a chain that is frequently sued by family members whose loved ones have been injured or killed in Manorcare facilities.

Click here for the full article

October 9, 2007

SEIU to rally at Chicago-area ManorCare facilities on Thursday

by Levin & Perconti

The Service Employees Union International (SEIU) will be holding rallies at Chicago-area ManorCare locations on Thursday to draw attention to the company's purchase by private equity company Carlyle Group in August. Further details of the rally will be disclosed tomorrow. Please check back tomorrow for an update.

Click here for more information on Carlyle Group's purchase of ManorCare and it's implications for care at Illinois Nursing Homes.

October 4, 2007

Abuse and neglect of patient at Manor Care nursing home leads to death, lawsuit

by Levin & Perconti

Susan L. Novosad of Chicago-based law firm Levin & Perconti has recently filed a lawsuit against Manor Care of Oak Lawn on behalf of the family of an abused and neglected resident. The resident, a 75-year-old woman, entered the nursing home for rehabilitation after a hip fracture. She also suffered from Alzheimer's disease. The woman was a patient at Manor Care for only four weeks. During those few weeks, the patient developed severe pressure sores; one of the sores developed into a Stage IV pressure ulcer. The woman was eventually taken to the hospital for wrist pain, but during that visit she was diagnosed with pneumonia, dehydration, severe malnutrition and sepsis (an infection in her blood), in addition to the bed sores. The malnutrition and dehydration caused the patient to lose 13 pounds during those four weeks. As a result of these injuries, the woman ultimately died.

Family members had complained to the facility, but a nurse replied that she was too busy to take constant care of the patient. The nursing home is also accused of negligently allowing the patient to lie in her own waste for prolonged periods of time and failing to follow the orders of the patient's doctor, allowing for mistakes in the administration of medication and treatment. Novosad discovered that the woman's chart revealed that sixteen days had passed without any notes by a nurse. In regards to Manor Care's promise to sufficiently care for patients and meet their needs Novosad stated, "families really trust them. It's heartbreaking."

Click here for the full article

October 3, 2007

Senators call for probe of the quality care given at nursing homes owned by private equity companies

by Levin & Perconti

In response to the recent New York Times article blasting the quality of care given at nursing homes owned by private equity companies, senators Hillary Clinton of New York and Republican Charles Grassley of Iowa have asked the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to investigate nursing homes owned by private equity companies.

Specifically, the senators are requesting an investigation into whether nursing homes owned by private equity companies are providing bad care. Some of the largest chains in the nation have been purchased by private equity companies recently including Manor Care Inc, the largest U.S. nursing home owner, and Beverly Enterprises.

Click here for the full article

September 28, 2007

Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care surprisingly refuses to condemn long-term facilities who do not provide quality care

by Levin & Perconti

A statement was issued by the President of the Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care (AQNHC) in response to the New York Times Article released on Sunday in which the AQNHC surprisingly refuses to condemn the practice of providing less than quality care while simultaneously using corporate shells to operate long-term care facilities and avoid accountability. The AQNHC, a group committed to improving the quality of long-term care nationwide, takes the unsupported position that care in America’s nursing homes is improving overall, noting that the New York Times focused their analysis on only 10% of our nation’s nursing homes.

The AQNHC does not deny that care is being sacrificed at these private equity owned homes, nor do they condemn this practice. Further, AQNHC is non-responsive to the issue of accountability where the owners of long-term care facilities - those who reap the profits - are not held accountable for bad care.

Is the AQNHC applauding this practice or not responding at all? One would expect an organization that is engaged in improving care in our nation’s nursing homes to condemn a practice by profit seekers who cut resident services and staff, decreasing the overall quality of care provided to residents.

Instead, the AQNHC lauds the profession’s “demonstrated commitment to public data disclosure,” and transparency, asserting that nursing homes make data available for potential residents to assess the quality of the facility. However, AQNHC forgets that long-term care facilities’ receipt of Medicare funds is conditioned upon reporting this data, making such reporting essentially government mandated.

In essence, the AQNHC applauds long-term care facilities who participate in a government mandated regulatory scheme with no regard for the bad care residents suffer when profits are put ahead of people.

Click here for the statement.

September 26, 2007

Another nursing home neglect lawsuit filed against Manorcare in Illinois – Department of Public Health cites facility

by Levin & Perconti

Twelve days was all it took for Manorcare at Peoria to neglect an 81-year old nursing home resident so badly that he was near death. Steven M. Levin, of Chicago law firm Levin & Perconti, filed a lawsuit today on behalf of the wife of an 81-year old man who died from complications of injuries he sustained in Manorcare at Peoria nursing home.

The 81-year old man was admitted to the facility for a short-term rehabilitation stay after a fall he sustained in his own home. A mere 12 days after the man was admitted, his family arrived to find the man unresponsive and struggling for breath. The man was transferred to a hospital where he was diagnosed with pneumonia, sepsis, acute kidney failure and dehydration. The lawsuit alleges that the staff at Manorcare failed to properly hydrate the man and assess his needs and risk for dehydration. The staff also failed to notify the man’s physician that his condition was deteriorating.

Further investigation revealed the man was needlessly in pain during his stay at the facility as he only received 40% of the pain medications he was prescribed. The Illinois Department of Public Health cited the facility for improper nursing care and failure to notify the resident’s physician and family of his change in condition.

Attorney Steven Levin explained the nature of James’ neglect: “In an unfortunate case of
improper nursing care, ManorCare failed to inform James’ doctor or his family that he was not eating or drinking and that his overall physical and mental condition had been rapidly deteriorating. Had the doctor been notified, a plan of intervention could have been established and implemented to prevent James from suffering needlessly. Whenever there is a significant change in a resident’s condition, it is the duty of the facility to notify the doctor and the family about these changes in a timely manner so the resident’s needs can be met with the appropriate standard of care.”

Click here for the Press Release

September 18, 2007

Nursing home lawsuit filed in Chicago against Manorcare at Oaklawn for pressure sores

by Levin & Perconti

A nursing home neglect lawsuit was filed today for the family of a 75-year old woman who was neglected in a Manorcare nursing home in Oaklawn, IL. Susan L. Novosad, of Chicago nursing home law firm Levin & Perconti, filed the lawsuit on behalf of the family. The lawsuit alleged that during her four week stay in the Manorcare facility, the woman developed a severely infected Stage IV pressure ulcer. The resident also was allowed to become malnourished and dehydrated, suffering a 13 pound weight loss in only 4 weeks.

Eventually, the resident was hospitalized for sepsis and pneumonia, conditions the lawsuit alleges were caused by the mistreatment and neglect she suffered as a resident of Manorcare.

Attorney Susan Novosad said, “Nursing facilities like Manorcare promise families that
they can provide for the complex medical care of their loved ones. They promise to provide dignified care in a home-like setting. Helen depended on ManorCcre to meet all of her needs because she was unable to care for herself. Instead, she was allowed to suffer needlessly. ”

Click here for the Press Release

September 12, 2007

Chicago nursing home neglect lawsuit filed against Manorcare Palos Heights

by Levin & Perconti

A nursing home abuse and neglect lawsuit has been filed in Chicago, IL on behalf of the family of an 85-year old resident who suffered needlessly at Manorcare Palos Heights nursing home. Steven M. Levin and Michael F. Bonamarte of the Chicago-based law firm Levin & Perconti filed the lawsuit in the Circuit Court of Cook County, alleging violations of state and federal law due to the poor nursing care the resident received at the Manorcare Palos Heights facility. In a detailed report from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), which can be found here, ManorCare was cited for failing to prevent Nancy Cirantineo’s mistreatment, neglect and abuse by their own staff members. Specific examples of staff mistreatment and neglect included delayed medical treatment, failure to provide necessary care and services, failure to provide necessary treatment to prevent existing pressure sores from worsening and failure to prevent the development of new sores.

Continue reading "Chicago nursing home neglect lawsuit filed against Manorcare Palos Heights " »

August 24, 2007

Manorcare Naperville sued for nursing home neglect

by Levin & Perconti

A former resident of Manorcare Naperville is suing the facility for leaving a sponge in an open wound which became embedded in the resident’s leg. The resident was admitted to Manorcare on June 24, 2005 after surgery and received wound care at Manorcare until July 2, 2005. Manorcare is a chain of nursing homes that is frequently cited by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) for improper nursing care and neglect. Several lawsuits have also been filed against Manorcare facilities throughout the state of Illinois by nursing home attorneys on behalf of residents and family members who have been abused or neglected in Manorcare facilities.

Click here for the full article.

August 14, 2007

Mentally disturbed nurse abuses residents, coworkers

by Levin & Perconti

In a recent conference, the Virginia Board of Nursing was asked to take action upon evidence that a nursing home CNA violated state laws regulating nurse aide practice. The nurse was employed at four nursing homes in recent years: Seven Hills, ManorCare, Ruxton, and the Lexington. She had been previously diagnosed of Impulse Control Disorder and personality disorder, but was not undergoing treatment, and had also been convicted of petty larceny. The nurse committed acts such as abusing residents, threatening to kill fellow employees, verbal abuse, talking to herself about killing people in the presence of residents and omitting previous nursing homes and her criminal record on her resume. It is shocking that there is no system in place to prevent nurses like these from circulating among nursing homes in the same area. With the prevalence of nursing home abuse and neglect, there should be stricter rules governing background checks on employees.