Steven Levin and Margaret Battersby of Levin & Perconti filed a complaint in the Circuit Court of Cook County against International Village nursing home in Chicago. The complaint was filed on behalf of James Yearword who experienced elderly neglect while a resident at the nursing home in May 2008. The nursing home failed to care for James’ condition properly and he wrongfully died as a result at the age of 55. When the victim entered International Village on May 7, 2008 he was a quadriplegic and could not breathe on his own. The victim had a ventilator and tracheotomy tube that required daily maintenance and suctioning to keep it clear. On May 9, a nurse at the home was changing the oxygen supply on his ventilator and failed to turn it back on. For 24 hours, James had to breathe without the oxygen from his ventilator. The victim stayed in the hospital for several days and returned to International Village 4 days later. When he was released from the hospital, his doctors gave the nursing home orders to continue tracheotomy care and suctioning, but included new orders to administer chest physical therapy three times daily. His physicians’ orders were never carried out by the nursing home staff and for thirteen days he did not receive chest physical therapy. In addition, the nursing home failed to suction his tracheotomy tube regularly.
On May 26, nurses found James unresponsive, pulse-less and barely breathing in his bed. After he was transported to the hospital he was pronounced dead shortly after his arrival. The Illinois Department of Health conducted an investigation that revealed a number of failures in care by the nursing home. The nursing home was then cited for improper elder care. Attorney Steven Levin stated that the victim’s case is “An unfortunate example of nursing home neglect. The nursing home staff failed to consider the proper care and therapy that his physicians ordered and that was required to help ultimately led to his death.” Mr. Levin believes that these failures led to the victim’s death. In February 2008, The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) listed that International Village had poor inspection ratings and histories of serious problems. In October, International Village was one of the two Illinois nursing homes listed as a “Facility That Has Not Improved.”