Levin & Perconti Representing Bloomington Family After COVID-19-Related Nursing Home Death
In May 2020, Bloomington Rehabilitation and Health, located at 1925 South Main Street in Bloomington, was home to a COVID-19 outbreak that resulted in 59 confirmed cases among staff and residents and the death of 11 residents. Levin & Perconti is representing the family of one of those residents. Marlene Cowans-Hill, a 72-year-old woman from Bloomington, was a resident at the long-term care facility when the outbreak occurred.
Levin & Perconti lawyers filed the lawsuit against the facility’s parent company, Petersen Health Care, on November 20, 2020, alleging “gross negligence” related to Cowans-Hill’s lack of attention and care by staff and her untimely death. Her daughter, Anita Martin of Bloomington, is named as the plaintiff in the lawsuit. The 48-page lawsuit alleges the older woman suddenly became sick while living at the long-term care facility and tested positive for COVID-19 just days before she died.
- Cowans-Hillcalled 911 on four different occasions after telling the nursing home staff she was experiencing shortness of breath, headache, and increased back pain and not receiving any medical help or relief.
- Hill was then taken to the hospital at her daughter’s request on May 14 as her shortness of breath had gotten worse, and her oxygen levels had dropped.
- Unfortunately, Cowans-Hill died the following day from complications related to her COVID-19 diagnosis.
Bloomington Rehab did not notify the family that Cowans-Hill had tested positive for the coronavirus.
Attorney Megan Shore Reacts to Nursing Home Lawsuit
Levin & Perconti attorney Megan Shore said the Bloomington facility did not care for Hill appropriately. “Sadly, this was the straw that broke the camel’s back to Marlene’s peril. And Marlene had called her daughter Anita on her cell phone multiple times throughout her stay at the facility to complain or say that people weren’t taking care of her. She was worried and saying she had shortness of breath and pain, and also called 911 herself. By the time she arrived at the hospital, Marlene was incoherent and in a fetal position,” says Shore. “Her death was the result of the mismanagement in care, misallocation of resources, understaffing, and repeated safety violations.”
The facility is accused of “gross negligence” and Martin is seeking in excess of $50,000 to compensate for the shocking and utterly reckless conduct of the Defendant nursing home.
Petersen Health Care filed a motion to move the lawsuit to Federal Court on Monday, January 11, 2021. The suit is being reviewed to determine whether it will be seen in McLean County Court where it was filed or moved to Federal Court. Petersen Health Care operates facilities across Illinois, Missouri, and Iowa and offers care services such as:
- Assisted Living
- Physical, Occupational, Speech and Language Therapy
- Transportation to Physician & Various other Medical Appointments
- Intravenous Therapies
- Skilled Nursing Care
- Memory Care
- Respite Care
- Independent Living
- Long- and Short-Term Admissions
- Restorative Nursing
- Hospice Care
- Discharge planning for returning home
- Therapeutic Diets
- Therapeutic and Social Activity Programs
“This is another situation that unfortunately we see in nursing home cases too often – cases where profit is put over patients’ needs and results in a preventable injury or death of a resident. That needs to stop,” said Shore.
Low Care Quality and Nursing Home Negligence Often Play Leading Roles in COVID-19 Outbreaks
There is an incalculable amount of pain and suffering to nursing home residents who have suffered the most during the COVID-19 pandemic. All-time lows in understaffed facilities, untrained labor, and nursing home owners and administrators who choose to disregard infectious disease guidelines continue to be significant contributors to the climbing number of coronavirus infections and outbreaks in Illinois.
- More than half of the COVID-19-related fatalities in Illinois have occurred at long-term care facilities, nursing homes, or assisted living centers.
- As of January 15, 2021, the total number of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases in 296 Illinois nursing homes is 69,398.
- Eight thousand nine hundred eighty-six deaths among residents in all long-term care facilities have been reported by the Illinois Department of Public Health.
- At least 109 new coronavirus deaths and 6,766 new cases were reported in Illinois on January 14, 2021.
- There have been at least 1,055,617 cases and 19,730 COVID-19 deaths in Illinois since the beginning of the pandemic.
Over 100,000 residents of all U.S. long-term care facilities have died from COVID-19 since the pandemic began in early 2020. As nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys, we know that many of these cases and deaths are the tragically foreseeable consequences rooted in years of neglect and abuse. Our firm is experienced, and our attorneys are fearless when advocating for nursing home residents and their families. Levin & Perconti is currently investigating hundreds of complaints involving assisted living, long-term care, and skilled nursing facilities, which have failed to uphold adequate safeguards related to a COVID-19 outbreak.
Many Illinois long-term care workers have spoken up against facility owners and operators and say they have refused to increase staffing levels and haven’t been transparent about COVID-19 cases within their facilities. If you witness staff or residents being mistreated due to facility operator negligence, you are protected against any form of retaliation and are encouraged to report what you know immediately.
Chicago Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorneys Can Help Your Family
Levin & Perconti has been prepared to work at full capacity since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, and our attorneys continue to support Illinois families seek justice in the most tragic cases of abuse and preventable neglect. If you choose to make a legal claim against an Illinois nursing home related to COVID-19, please contact us for a consultation at 877-374-1417 or in Chicago at 312-332-2872. All calls and discussions with our attorneys are welcome, free, and always confidential.