Articles Posted in Chicago

nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys

Two partners talk about going from student to teacher

This piece was originally published in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin on August 1, 2019.

By Margaret Battersby Black and Michael F. Bonamarte IV

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.

elder care attorneys

Did You Know Illinois Has Dementia Friendly Communities?

Located about 30 miles northwest of Chicago, the City of Elgin is one of the state’s newest dementia friendly communities aimed to support those living with the disease and their caregivers. An advisory council for the cause includes the city’s library staff, the mayor, a legal team, home care providers, the office of state Sen. Cristina Castro, Advocate Sherman Hospital leaders, and both the Elgin Police Department and the Elgin Fire Department. These trained workgroups hold open and friendly gatherings and guided activities at local businesses unique to those with dementia. Resources are also offered to help community members learn how to interact with people who have dementia. The council provides much-needed support and a place for caregivers to meet up as well.

Currently, six communities in Illinois are recognized as being dementia friendly by the group Dementia Friendly America. Those include:

long term nursing home care

How Does the Rising Cost of Nursing Home Care Impact Residents?

About three-quarters of Americans 65 and older will need to use a nursing home at some point, but only a small fraction will have coverage via long-term care insurance or Medicare and Medicaid to help cover the enormous and growing expense. A study published on June 20, 2019, by Georgetown University Medical Center shows:

  • Nursing home prices from 2005 through 2010 consistently outpaced growth in consumer healthcare prices.

Chicago nursing home attorney

Leading Lawyers Magazine Features Attorney Margaret P. Battersby Black  

Attorney and Partner at Levin & Perconti, Margaret P. Battersby Black recently appeared in Leading Lawyers Magazine where she led the article by sharing her legal philosophy: to ensure her clients’ wrongs are righted. She continued, “I want to make sure they have a voice,” says Battersby Black, “and that those who take advantage of others are held accountable.”

Margaret grew up in Michigan, alongside family members who ignited her legal career. She says her father, Michael Battersby, also a personal injury attorney, inspired her as he “was always fighting for the underdogs” and his work left an impression on her. She went on to earn her undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and her law degree at Chicago-Kent College of Law.

illinois nursing home attorneys

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.

nursing home neglect

Negligence Led to Fall and Untimely Death of Cook County Nursing Home Resident

Pamela Dimo and Margaret P. Battersby Black of Levin & Perconti are representing a woman suing an assisted living facility alleging that an elderly resident was caused to fall and subsequently die due to negligence. The estate of Sarah Robinson filed the complaint on March 29 in the Cook County Circuit Court against Parkshore Estates Nursing and Rehabilitation Center LLC dba Parkshore Estates Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, infinity Healthcare Management of Illinois LLC, Paulette Alexander RN, Thomeka Brown, Juanita Davis LPN and Aishia Shipp LPN, Abigail Sullivan RD, Tijuana Haywood RN and Rachael Nnabuo RN.

According to the complaint:

abuse and neglect attorneys

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:

candida auris

Dangerous Fungus Infection Takes Life of Northwestern Memorial Patient

A suburban Chicago woman receiving treatment at Northwestern Memorial for Lupus related issues has died from the drug-resistant Candida auris fungus. The most recent outbreak of the super fungus is responsible for the 158 known cases across Illinois since 2016. The family of the patient believe she became infected through a standard intravenous procedure during an intensive care stay. Once a routine blood test detected the infection, the woman was not able to move forward with her Lupus treatments, triggering the fatal outcome.

The family was not aware that Candida auris had also infected other patients at Northwestern during this time and they have since spoken out. Although the medical staff was very supportive, they stated that perhaps if knowledge of the dangerous fungus risk factors had been present through better transparency between the hospital and family members, additional prevention measures could have been taken to prevent her untimely death.

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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