An experienced Illinois nursing home neglect attorney has likely had the importance of their work vindicated on various occasions after encountering cases of exceptionally abysmal elder care. It takes a particularly cold heart not to have emotions stirred when learning of some vulnerable victims who experience agonizingly painful final days at the hands of caregivers who ignore their most basic needs or actively abuse them. Fortunately, each Illinois nursing home lawsuit often forces improvements at area facilities that improves life for other residents-even if just slightly.
Unfortunately, the quality of care at many facilities in our area and throughout the country remains far lower than reasonable observers would deem appropriate. The poor care often arises because for-profit nursing home chains seek to make as much money as possible by keeping resident numbers high and staff numbers low.
For example, the Charleston Gazette reported this weekend on the culmination of a nursing home lawsuit stemming from an absolutely tragic case of elder abuse and neglect. The two week long trial involved heartbreaking testimony about the care received by an 87-year old woman who died only three weeks after arriving at the nursing facility owned by Manorcare. The allegations believed by the jury in this latest case indicate that the facility provided care was abysmally short of even being defined as humane. Our Chicago nursing home lawyers have represented many families whose loved ones were injured or killed because of negligence at Manorcare facilities in Illinois in similar cases.
Surviving family members of the woman explain how she was taken to the negligent facility two years ago for what was intended to be a short stay until space opened up in another nursing home. Little did they know that their mother would never make it out of the facility alive. The family made the tough decision to move their loved one into close nursing care home, because they realized that she needed more around-the-clock services than they could provide on their own. The 87-year old suffered from Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s disease and several other conditions. Before moving into the facility the woman had lived with her son and could walk, talk, and recognize friends and family members. However, her condition deteriorated quickly at the negligent facility.
The problems started right away. As soon as she entered the home, staff members confined her to a wheelchair, even though she was capable of walking. In addition, records indicate that the staff members virtually failed to take care of the woman’s most basic needs, such as providing food, water, and proper grooming. By the time she left the facility three weeks later the victim was 15 pounds lighter than when she arrived and was severely dehydrated. She died the very day after she left the facility.
Staff members of that same nursing home admitted that there were so many residents and so few employees that providing proper care was virtually impossible. Records revealed that the turnover rate at the home was an eye-popping 112%. More people were leaving that the home could hire because some left during the orientation when they saw the poor conditions of the facility. Upon hearing all of the evidence, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the victim in the amount of $91.5 million–$80 million in punitive damages and $11.5 million in compensatory damages.
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