$17,700,000

Brain injury due to nursing staff negligence

$14,000,000

Ignored x-ray results delaying diagnosis of lung cancer

$12,000,000

Failure to diagnosis causes wrongful death

$10,000,000

Truck ran over five year boy

$7,620,000

HMO doctor ignored mother's complaints resulting in death

$7,000,000

Vietnam veteran PTSD wrongful death

Levin & Perconti is proud to welcome Cari F. Silverman and Jaime Koziol Delaney as the firm’s newest partners. Cari has been with the firm since 2010 and earned her law degree from The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her most notable settlements include a $6 million medical negligence settlement and a $4.75 million medical malpractice settlement. Jaime graduated from DePaul University College of Law in May 2011 and began working at Levin & Perconti in April 2012. She has successfully settled a variety of cases, including a $9 million medical malpractice case, a hospital fall lawsuit, and many nursing home negligence cases.

The two new partners bring the firm’s partnership to seven members, four of whom are women. They will join founding partners Steven Levin and John Perconti, and partners Susan L. Novosad, Michael F. Bonamarte, IV, and Margaret P. Battersby Black to lead the Chicago-based legal team in upholding a reputation of earning million dollar client verdicts and settlements for clients.

“We are so proud of the work Cari and Jaime do for our clients and of their emerging leadership within our firm,” said co-founding partner Steven M. Levin. “These women are talented and tenacious advocates who get top results for the people they represent while also being excellent, collaborative team members to work with.”

Financial Abuse and Scamming Nursing Home Residents of Their Money

Several research studies, including an analysis by the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau estimate that seniors in the U.S. are scammed out of anywhere from $3 billion to $37 billion a year. Those over age 70 lose an average of $10,000 to elder financial exploitation each year, and the losses are even higher when the scammer is a friend, trusted caregiver, or relative.

  • In 2018, the Office of Financial Protection for Older Americans received over 180,000 encounters of suspicious elder financial exploitation (EFE), involving a total of more than $6 billion since 2013.

Nursing Home Resident Was Smothered to Death by Signed-In Visitor

Police in Florida have arrested William Hawkins, 47, after being charged with breaking into the Tiffany Hall Nursing & Rehab Center in Port St. Lucie and smothering a 95-year-old resident to death with a pillow. The man matched the description provided by staff members and was also listed as a visitor for the victim. The murder happened in January 2020.

The man reportedly confessed to the crime while speaking to his estranged sister in jail and explained that the nursing home resident had written a book about him that upset him. According to The Daytona Beach News-Journal, Hawkins answered “yes” when asked if he smothered the victim and confessed to planning the killing for years.

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Congratulations to Levin & Perconti’s partners and associates selected to the 2020 Illinois Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists for 2020. These honors are reserved for those legal professionals who exhibit excellence in practice and client relations. The annual lists are created under peer nomination, independent research, and peer evaluation. Super Lawyers are then graded on their overall professional achievement and client service. While up to five percent of the lawyers in Illinois are named to Super Lawyers, no more than 2.5 percent are named to the Rising Stars list.

Six Levin & Perconti Attorneys Honored as Super Lawyers

Levin & Perconti partners Steven Levin, John Perconti, Susan Novosad, Michael Bonamarte IV, Margaret Battersby Black, and intake attorney Steven Sandler have achieved the notable 2020 Illinois Super Lawyer title for their work representing clients in medical malpractice and personal injury cases, including nursing home abuse and neglect.

Are Illinois Nursing Homes Prepared to Prevent Coronavirus from Spreading?

Sicknesses can quickly spread when people are in closer proximity because viruses loom in the air and on surfaces that are touched and shared. Nursing home residents are often enclosed within shared spaces for eating, socializing and living, making the facilities home to several highly contagious viruses. As U.S. cases of the Wuhan Coronavirus continue to rise, including an elderly couple from Chicago, Illinois, nursing homes should be well-informed and prepared to handle a potential case of an infectious disease outbreak related to the sometimes-deadly respiratory illness.

As of February 5, 2020, the facts about Coronavirus according to news sources and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) include:

Alzheimer’s and Dementia Residents Can Struggle with Communication

According to the latest Alzheimer’s Association report, an increase in those with declining cognitive abilities impact an estimated 230,000 people in Illinois, a number that is expected to rise nearly 13 percent by 2025. Dementia, a form of Alzheimer’s, is one of the only top-10 causes of death in the U.S. that cannot be prevented, cured, or slowed.

The majority of individuals diagnosed with dementia grow to rely on care provided by a nursing home to help manage their daily activities, medications, financial needs and assist them while residing in a safe environment. And as their dementia moves into later stages, help in communicating will also be required. The person may not be able to speak, or when they do, they may present lost in thought or provide confusing responses.

Aperion Care Racked Up $367,000 in Fines For 2019 Nursing Home Violations

In 2019, one Illinois nursing home chain, branded under the Aperion Care name, was fined nearly $367,000 by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) in response to failing to correct serious deficiencies in care and safety of its residents. Aperion Care has 35 Illinois facilities, the majority of which have only one-of-five-star ratings by Medicare.

Most recently, Aperion made a $6 million offer to take over Rock Island’s Hope Creek Care Center. But Aperion’s reputation and questionable level of care residents may receive has alarmed both community and county board members. With a quick review through the quarterly violation reports for Illinois nursing facilities, courtesy of IDPH, it easy to identify why these Aperion Care facilities are fined so often, and also validate the concerns of the Rock Island community.

Doctors, nurses, and other nursing home staff are more often being caught and charged with prescription medication theft and obtaining a controlled substance by fraud. The most appealing of all include opioids, powerful medications prescribed by physicians for nursing home residents with moderate to severe pain, and those suffering from life-threatening illnesses. Residents who are taking opioids are also more commonly prescribed pain adjuvants and other addictive or ‘street profitable’ medications that are likely to be stolen by staff. These may include controlled substances such as Benzodiazepines. Many nursing home residents receive Benzodiazepines to treat anxiety, seizures, panic disorders, depression, muscle relaxation, and insomnia. These drugs are also frequently stolen or abused by nursing home staff members.

Some of the most common opioids and Benzodiazepines that are frequently stolen from residents include:

  • Alprazolam (Xanax)

More Than 100 Illinois Nursing Homes Named in Final Violators Report of 2019

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has released its final and Fourth Quarter Report of Nursing Home Violators for 2019 highlighting nursing homes that failed to comply with mandatory state regulations. This report dates October 2019 through December 2019. It highlights 111 Illinois facilities, an increase from 71 in the third quarter. The facilities were cited for various violations of the Nursing Home Care Act, a statute that provides nursing home residents and their families with the assurance that proper and safe care will be received.

Illinois facilities with violations in quarter four of 2019 include:

Troubled Rosewood Facilities Bought Up by For-Profit Lender

Greystone is the New York-based real estate, investment, and consulting firm set to take ownership over a chain of troubled Chicago-area elder care facilities currently branded under the name of Rosewood. The federal government has been in charge of Rosewood nursing homes after the previous owners defaulted on $146 million in mortgage loans, the largest default in the history of the government mortgage insurance program that provides financial support to 15 percent of the nation’s nursing homes. The previous owners, including Chicago-area rabbi, Zvi Feiner, were found guilty of improperly diverting millions of dollars in federally insured funds to other businesses and ultimately driving Rosewood into a financial crisis.

In December 2019, Greystone filed its licensing agreement with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). The group is a major lender to the nursing home industry with a $34 billion loan portfolio, making it the number-one HUD borrower in the country. Greystone also runs a group of nursing homes in Florida under the name Greystone Healthcare Management. Greystone will own and operate the facilities through a series of limited liability companies. A rebranding of the Rosewood home names is expected.

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