A nursing home abuse and neglect lawsuit against River Valley Supportive Living Residence in Kankakee, Illinois and its former employee was settled for $500,000, the facility’s insurance policy limit, by Steven M. Levin, of the Chicago law firm Levin & Perconti, and James Spiros of Spiros & Wall. The suit was filed on the behalf of a 93 year-old woman who was a resident at the nursing home. The complaint alleged that she was sexually and physically assaulted by a 22 year-old former employee of River Valley, who now faces criminal charges of aggravated sexual assault. The complaint also alleged that River Valley’s administration ignored numerous complaints of sexual and physical assault by the victim in addition to ignoring reports from other residents that the victim claimed to have been raped. Further allegations included that the nursing home ignored obvious signs such as the inordinate amount of time that the employee spent in the victim’s room and the unusual amount of attention that he provided her, especially during bathing times. Instead of investigating the claim, the staff dismissed the charges as possible early signs of dementia, subjecting the victim to further abuse. During the victim’s final two months at River Valley, she suffered multiple personal injuries, including unexplainable bruises to her face, around her eye, on her elbow, inner arm, back, and wrist.
The settlement was reached back in June, 2007, but its details were not allowed to be made public until the recent unsealing of its terms by a judge. The Circuit Court of the 21st Judicial Circuit, Kankakee County, sealed the settlement, preventing both sides from disclosing the terms prior to the former employee’s criminal trial. The public announcement comes as state attorneys prepare to take the criminal case to trial.