Two Chicago nursing home neglect lawyers at our firm recently settled a case on behalf of relatives of an individual who passed away after a stay at a local nursing home. The story is yet another reminder of the consequences of poor care received by these residents, and the vital importance of ensuring proper accountability when mistakes lead to serious harm.
In this case the resident first entered the defendant-facility, Renaissance Parks South (formerly Halsted Terrace Nursing), in the summer of 2005. He lived at the home for the next four and a half years. In the middle of this stay (October of 2007) the man was diagnosed with gastrointestinal cancer. To help treat the cancer the resident’s oncologist soon prescribed him a medication known as Gleevec. The treatment plan was straight-forward. The resident was to receive the medication regularly, with monthly appointments scheduled with the oncologist. The prescription would be refilled following each of those appointments, as a one-month supply was provided at a time.
Initially, the treatment seemed to be working as hoped. A few months after the diagnosis and beginning of treatment the tumor had shrunk in size. But, in investigating the case our Illinois nursing home neglect attorneys learned that problems arose shortly after the encouraging status update.
The regular monthly oncologist visit took place at the end of January in 2008 where his medication was re-filled. Yet, the February visit did not take place. As a result, the resident did not have his prescription re-filled, and it ran out in late February or early March. This oversight would prove quite costly, as the resident failed to receive the crucial treatments he needed to fight the cancer. He did not go back to the oncologist or receive his Gleevec medication for the rest of the year.
Making matters worse, the resident’s care chart at the facility wrongly indicated that Gleevec was given to the man throughout the year. Nursing home abuse lawyers know that false charting is quite common at these facilities.
In fact, it was not until a new staff member discovered that the Gleevec was not available (in early 2009) that the man finally went back to the oncologist–nearly a year after his last visit. By then, the lack of treatment for nearly a year allowed the cancer to grow and spread. The man’s prognosis was significantly downgraded in subsequent medical visits. Medical teams did the best they could to fight the spreading cancer, but the man ultimately died from complications in early 2010.
The man’s family–several siblings and a niece–sought out the help of our Illinois nursing home attorneys after the passing. A lawsuit was filed to hold the facility accountable for its conduct that led to the untimely death. Last month a settlement with the facility was reached to provide redress without the need to go to trial. The family will receive the maximum amount allowed by an eroding insurance policy, over $917,000. Hopefully, the effort will ensure this sort of basic oversight never happens again or causes injury to other residents at the home.
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