A tragic example of nursing home negligence was reported earlier this year by KCBD News. The nursing home death occurred at a facility known as Tumbleweed and involved a 71 year old resident who froze to death after being outside for several hours in frigid conditions.
The victim was a known wanderer, had dementia and Alzheimer’s. Surveillance video indicates that the man wandered out of the facility, slipped, and hit his head on an object outside. Nursing home employees did not find the man until 8 a.m. the next morning by which point he had died of exposure to the elements.
Amazingly, the man had only been transferred to Tumbleweed that very day. He previously lived in a separate nursing home that was shut down by state officials. An anonymous nurse at the negligent nursing home explained that according to facility protocol, residents were supposed to be checked on every two hours. But that was never followed. On top of that, a new resident who is known to wander and has dementia should have been monitored even closer.
The nurse explained the risks of the facility revealing that residents “can be outside for hours” without notice by employees. She continued that regular checks of residents and alarms on the doors were only installed the very day after the death because the facility management expected there to be a fuss made about the safety of the nursing home. On a separate occasion that very weekend, the nurse explained that a resident left the facility and hitchhiked to another town.
The family has indicated that they will seek legal action against the negligent facility.
Our Chicago nursing home lawyers at Levin & Perconti are well aware of the dangers of wandering resident. It is vital that employees provide the oversight and observation that these residents deserve and that their families demand. Anything less is a violation of trust.
The law in our state specifically provides that an Illinois wrongful death lawsuit can be filed by surviving victims of negligent conduct like this. Be sure to fully understand your legal options if you find yourself in a similar situation.
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