Articles Posted in Incidents

Nursing Home Resident Was Smothered to Death by Signed-In Visitor

Police in Florida have arrested William Hawkins, 47, after being charged with breaking into the Tiffany Hall Nursing & Rehab Center in Port St. Lucie and smothering a 95-year-old resident to death with a pillow. The man matched the description provided by staff members and was also listed as a visitor for the victim. The murder happened in January 2020.

The man reportedly confessed to the crime while speaking to his estranged sister in jail and explained that the nursing home resident had written a book about him that upset him. According to The Daytona Beach News-Journal, Hawkins answered “yes” when asked if he smothered the victim and confessed to planning the killing for years.

Aperion Care Racked Up $367,000 in Fines For 2019 Nursing Home Violations

In 2019, one Illinois nursing home chain, branded under the Aperion Care name, was fined nearly $367,000 by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) in response to failing to correct serious deficiencies in care and safety of its residents. Aperion Care has 35 Illinois facilities, the majority of which have only one-of-five-star ratings by Medicare.

Most recently, Aperion made a $6 million offer to take over Rock Island’s Hope Creek Care Center. But Aperion’s reputation and questionable level of care residents may receive has alarmed both community and county board members. With a quick review through the quarterly violation reports for Illinois nursing facilities, courtesy of IDPH, it easy to identify why these Aperion Care facilities are fined so often, and also validate the concerns of the Rock Island community.

Nationally Respected Attorneys

Three Illinois Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Cases That Gained National Attention in 2019

Levin & Perconti is a nationally renowned law firm concentrating in all types of nursing home abuse and neglect claims as well as personal injury, medical malpractice, and wrongful death lawsuits. The firm’s founding partners, Steve Levin and John Perconti were among the first nursing home lawyers in Illinois and are highly regarded among their peers and adversaries for their outstanding work on behalf of victims of abuse and neglect.

Today, the Chicago based firm stands behind three decades of winning experience in defending residents who have had their rights violated and become injured while under the care of others. This is a brief review of three nursing home abuse and neglect cases represented by Levin & Perconti lawyers that made national and local news headlines in 2019.

Elderly Woman Attacked

Convict Walked Into Nursing Home and Sexually Assaulted Elderly Woman

A $50 million claim has been made against a California nursing home after a convict snuck in and sexually abused an 88-year-old woman, according to San Diego news source, NBC7. Lawyers for the victim’s family say shortly after 49-year-old Lusean Arline was released on parole, he welcomed himself through a Hillcrest nursing home’s unlocked back door and then proceeded to the second floor and sexually attack an elderly resident in her room. The report further explained that the woman was taken to a local hospital where she was treated for the rape, a broken arm, and emotional stress.

Nursing Home Negligence ‘Opened the Door’ to Violent Crime

Proper Care

Recent Inspection Report Shows Grove of Evanston Still Underperforming

Last year, The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) slapped the Grove of Evanston, 500 Asbury St., with a $25,000 fine for a Type A violation where “there is a substantial probability that death or serious mental or physical harm will result, or has resulted.” According to news sources and IDPH officials, the nursing home violated the terms of its license when it failed to assess a resident and notify a doctor of his declining condition. IDPH said the failure resulted in the resident being sent to a local hospital where he died less than 24 hours later.

Public health officials reviewed the resident’s records and recently released the report findings to show:

nursing home snapchat video

Video of Dementia Resident Taunted by Nursing Home Caregivers Was Shared on Social Media 

Levin & Perconti is representing the family of a 91-year-old woman after two of her care aides, formerly employed by Abington of Glenview Nursing Home in Glenview, violated the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act and state privacy laws through abuse and the use of social media. The workers, Brayan Cortez and Jamie Montesa, were caught publishing a Snapchat video of themselves taunting Margaret Collins, an elderly resident with dementia. Snapchat is a multimedia app and popular social media channel used by over 180 million people every day. Each post made is called a “snap.”

The video went public just days before the Christmas holiday in 2018 and showed Collins lying in bed and visibly upset from being taunted by employees throwing a hospital gown at her several times, a clothing item her family says Abington workers knew would make her distressed. The video was captioned with “Margaret hates gowns,” and the “snap” was decorated with two laughing face emojis. A former employee saw the video and shared it with the resident’s family.

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Nursing Home Resident Physically Harmed by CNA in Freeport

Freeport Police arrested a former certified nursing assistant (CNA) at an Illinois nursing home in Stephenson County after being accused of attacking an elderly resident earlier this year. The 34-year-old aid with a history of being employed by nursing homes is charged with official misconduct and aggravated battery to a senior citizen.

Detectives say the worker, identified as James Spann, put the 73-year-old resident in a chokehold and a headlock while working at Walnut Acres. Walnut Acres is formerly known as the Stephenson County Nursing Center, located at 2946 S. Walnut Rd. in Freeport.

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List of 22 Seriously Under-Performing Nursing Homes in Illinois Released Publicly for First Time 

After an inquiry led by U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Pat Toomey (R-PA), the Special Focus Facility (SFF) program, overseen by The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), shared a list of nearly 400 consistently underperforming nursing homes, 22 of which are located throughout Illinois. Previously CMS did not publicly disclose the names and locations of these SFF identified facilities. These are nursing homes that if not improved or fail to provide resolutions to documented quality problems, can be cut off by Medicare and Medicaid funding and support.

On June 3, 2019, the concerned lawmakers published the list in a public report titled, Families’ and Residents’ Rights to Know: Uncovering Poor Care in America’s Nursing Homes, and included all of the homes CMS has deemed to have a “persistent record of poor care” and systemic shortcomings.

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IDPH Releases First Report of The Year Listing Nursing Home Violators

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has released its first Quarterly Report of Nursing Home Violators for 2019. This report dates January 2019 thru March 2019 and highlights Illinois facilities cited for violations of the Nursing Home Care Act, a statute that provides nursing home residents and their families with the assurance that proper and safe care will be received.

Facilities with violations in quarter one of 2019 include:

nursing home fungus infection

Chicago-Area Attorney Steve Levin Comments on Deadly Fungus Outbreak Occurring in Illinois

Both The New York Times and Chicago Tribune recently reported a drug resistant super fungus called Candida auris, is plaguing 50 percent of Chicago-area nursing homes. This is a germ the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has deemed an urgent threat and is tricky to kill even with hospital grade disinfectants. The fungus, which is a yeast, is most noticeably found throughout patient rooms, on the skin of patients, and on daily medical devices such as blood pressure cuffs and medication containers. The most serious cases of infection from the fungus often occur in skilled nursing facilities that care for ventilated patients, or in long-term acute care settings.

“This is unacceptable,” says attorney Steve Levin, founder and senior partner of Levin & Perconti in Chicago. “We don’t know which nursing homes have been impacted yet – and, given the lengths that long-term care facilities’ corporate owners will go to in order to keep secret the dangerous conditions and poor care behind their closed doors – we might never know.”

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