$700,000 Settlement After Resident Dies from Bed Sores and Dehydration at West Suburban Cook County Nursing Home

A 78 year-old female died under the care of West Suburban Cook County Nursing Home in April of 2008, and was the result of negligence on the part of staff at that nursing care facility. The defendant’s attorneys at Levin & Perconti, Susan L. Novosad and Jaime A. Koziol, settled the case for $700,000. The attorneys for the West Suburban Cook County Nursing Home remain confidential. Prior to becoming a resident at the West Suburban Cook County Nursing Home, the 78 year-old female lived on her own and was independent. However, the elderly woman had a stroke, was admitted to a hospital, and then transferred to the nursing care facility shortly thereafter.

When she was admitted to the West Suburban Cook County Nursing Home, she needed two-person physical assistance for – according to settlement documents – “bed mobility and re-positioning.” At the point of admission, her skin was healthy, but an assessment did indicate that she was at “moderate risk for skin breakdown.” While residing at the nursing care facility, the Decedent developed multiple ulcers on the following parts of her body: her sacrum, coccyx, buttocks, heels, right ankle, right thigh, right hip, left knee, right big toe, and left ear. In addition, the Decedent was taken to the hospital for dehydration problems. The hospitalizations happened several times while she resided at the facility.

Chicago Nursing Home Lawsuit
The lawsuit alleged that the West Suburban Cook County Nursing Home failed to tend to the Defendant’s pressure ulcers properly and her problems with dehydration. In so doing, these ulcers worsened and did not heal, and she also wound up in the hospital for improper care. Furthermore, staff at the nursing care facility failed to re-position the Defendant, even though she needed to be re-positioned every two hours according to standards of care and her own care plan. In a word, staff failed to her care plan. The staff also did not follow through with performing daily skin checks.

Given the condition of the Defendant and the fact that she was under the care of nursing staff at the West Suburban Cook County Nursing Home, she relied upon them for her physical well-being, something her loved ones surely took seriously and thought was being upheld. The staff, however, failed to properly care for her, and were negligent, especially when it came to her pressure ulcers. They also failed to assess her risk of dehydration, resulting in multiple trips to the hospital, all of which could have been avoided if she had been cared for properly. Her care plan indicated that she was to receive frequent amounts of liquid in order to avoid dehydration. She was also to be encouraged to consume fluids. There was no evidence that these forms of treatment were implemented. Her injuries included multiple, infected pressure ulcers and dehydration, both caused by negligence on the part of the staff members at the West Suburban Cook County Nursing Home facility.

As mentioned above, the case was settled, and the nursing facility paid the full amount demanded.

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