Recently, our Illinois nursing home abuse lawyers read an article on Amarillo.com which detailed the devastating account of a nursing home resident who died as a result of the injuries she sustained during a transfer by an improperly trained staff member. The elderly resident, who suffered from a kyphotic spine and osteoporosis, was fatally injured in the process of being moved by a staff operated mechanical lift. The staff member who was operating the lift was improperly trained to operate such a device. The lift, which automatically activated, caused the resident’s torso to fully extend and ultimately resulted in the woman dangling from the lift with her feet off the ground. The staff member ignored the emergency valve which would manually stop movement.
The nursing home resident died two days later as a result of the injuries she sustained, which included a spinal fracture and permanent paralysis. The recently filed nursing home neglect lawsuit alleges that the nursing home failed to properly train staff members to use the lift device, which is in violation of minimum care standards. In addition to improper training, it was also noted that the lift had a history of malfunctioning – which the nursing home failed to address. The suit seeks damages for each violation made by the nursing home. The defendants in this lawsuit include the nursing home itself, as well as, its owner, director, and facility manager.
Customarily, nursing homes are required to develop a care plan with their residents and their families. Care plans are established to identify the services and treatments the resident needs each day to remain in the best possible condition. When individuals cannot ambulate on their own, care plans often detail how a resident should be transferred if they are moved. Sometimes a resident’s care plan calls for a two-person transfer, meaning that the resident requires two staff members to be moved. In other instances, the resident may require the use of a mechanical lift. In other instances, the resident may require the use of a mechanical lift. Unfortunately, our Chicago nursing home attorneys know that these plans are not always followed. We represent clients in a number of cases involving negligent nursing homes that fail to provide proper transfer as designated by the care plan and residents often sustain life-threatening injuries.
Recently, we obtained a $400,000 settlement on behalf of the family of a resident who died after suffering injuries as a result of an improper transfer. The resident, who required a two person transfer when moved, suffered a fracture to both his left hip and femur when a single staff member attempted to improperly move him.
When nursing homes fail to follow a resident’s care plan or provide appropriate care or treatment and the resident is injured or killed, individuals and families have the right to seek compensation and justice for their injuries or loss. In Illinois, both federal and state laws are in place to protect the rights and safety of nursing home residents. A nursing home lawsuit not only compensates victims but also sends a message to negligent facilities that poor care cannot be tolerated.