On Thursday the Illinois nursing home neglect attorneys at our firm filed a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the family of Anibal Calderon. The suit was filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County. Our attorneys Steven M. Levin, John J. Perconti, and Michael F. Bonamarte will handle the matter for the family.
Anibal was a resident at the Oak Park Healthcare Center until last month when he was beaten to death at the facility by a fellow resident. He is survived by his wife and two adult children.
Many in the Chicagoland area were shocked when news of the assault were uncovered. Anibal suffered from dementia and his family placed their trust with the Oak Park Healthcare Center to ensure his safety and well-being. Unfortunately, the evidence suggests that the trust was violated. On February 12th Anibal was attacked by a younger resident at the facility. The attacker inflicted serious injuries in the assault, leading to a severe brain injury from which Anibal died two days later. The aggressor in the incident had a felony background and a violent criminal record.
State and federal law demands that caregivers at these homes act reasonably to ensure that those in their care safe. The complaint filed this week alleges that the Oak Park Healthcare Center violated that duty in failing to properly supervise Anibal and other residents in order to prevent resident harm. Proper supervision is a hallmark of reasonable long-term care. That was not provided in this case, and Anibal suffered as a result. In addition, the Illinois nursing home neglect complaint alleges that the facility was systematically negligent in failing to respond to complaints of inadequate care by staff members and residents.
This tragedy highlights a common problem at nursing homes where inadequate staffing levels lead to inadequate levels of supervision. All residents at these facilities need to be properly watched. That demand is particularly incumbent for residents who have unique mental and physical vulnerabilities. As our nursing home attorney Steven Levin explained, “When nursing homes operate with minimal staff, they cannot provide the level of care needed to protect residents, especially those suffering from dementia or serious mental illnesses.”
Mistreatment at this facility does not seem to be isolated to this single incident. As our attorneys have investigated the details of this case and the overall care provided to residents at the Oak Park Healthcare Center, it has become clear that many have voiced concerns in the past about the level of care provided. Attorney Levin noted that “In the past few weeks, former employees, neighbor’s, and residents’ families have contacted us with information surrounding the problems at Oak Park Healthcare.”
It is important for all those who have witnessed mistreatment at this facility to come forward and share their story. Improvements are more likely to be guaranteed when more voices can be added which emphasize the total lives affected by inadequate nursing home care at this center. The individual lives behind this negligence so often get forgotten, but adherence to proper safety standards is truly a matter of life and death. As attorney John Perconti emphasizes, “We believe that Anibal’s death could have been prevented if he and his fellow resident were monitored by staff.”
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