Articles Posted in Levin & Perconti in the News

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Negligence of various sorts is a serious problem at nursing home facilities across the United States. Oftentimes people don’t realize the gravity of the term negligence until their loved one has been severely injured or hurt. That is why vigilance is a necessity when you have a loved on in a nursing home facility. Frequent trips to the nursing home are important, plus documenting the care of the individual who is being care for, and making note of any changes in your loved one’s behavior – these are key elements to keeping an eye out for potential abuse or negligence.

Unfortunately, even when families are vigilant, keep notes, make consistent visits, and so forth, their loved one can fall victim to negligence and even abuse (these two problems oftentimes intersect). This is certainly true when it comes to nursing homes in the state of Illinois, and we at Levin & Perconti have defended many families who have had the misfortune of a loved one being neglected or abused.

Levin & Perconti Neglect Lawsuit

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The adult son of an 85-year-old former nursing home resident has filed a wrongful death suit against a Niles, IL nursing home facility. The wrongful death lawsuit was filed on February 3rd, 2014 in the Cook County Court against a registered nurse and Regency Rehabilitation Center. In addition, the lawsuit has also named a physician as a respondent in discovery.

Our attorneys, Jordan S. Powell and Katherine Moorhouse, are representing the decedent’s family.

Our client’s mother lived at Regency Rehabilitation Center LLC at 6631 Milwaukee Ave. in Niles from November 15, 2008 to February 5, 2012. Our lawsuit alleges that the defendants did not take proper care of our client’s mother, which resulted in pressure sores that eventually became infected and needed surgery. This is a common form of neglect in nursing homes across the United States, i.e., sores that go untreated. When left untreated, the consequences can be dire and life threatening. Obviously, the latter was the case for our client’s mother, and that is why we are representing the case, to fight for her rights.

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Most nursing home neglect cases include a few familiar types of incidents: falls, failure to prevent bed sores, resident-on-resident violence, inadequate nutrition, and wandering. But these general issues are certainly not the only ways that long-term care facilities can fail to meet their legal duty to protect residents. Sometimes the mistakes are a bit more nuanced and connected to the more skilled medical care that these facilities provide.

However, at the end of the day, considering there are so many clear trends when it comes to neglect, family members worried about mistreatment should most familiarize themselves with the most common issues, particularly falls and pressure sores.

Pressure Sore Case

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Our legal team is proud to represent nursing home residents and their families whenever negligent care by a facility causes preventable harm. There is simply no excuse for violating basic safety standards and allowing our vulnerable seniors and those with disabilities to suffer the consequences.

Recently our neglect attorneys filed suit against Hillcrest Nursing and Rehabilitation in Joliet on behalf of the family of a 49-year old former resident of the home, John Eric Rush. Mr. Rush suffered serious injury as a result of poor care and negligence by facility caregivers. Specifically, three lawyers from Levin & Perconti, Steven M. Levin, Jaime A. Koziol and Greta M. Hafeman, are representing the family in the suit filed in Cook County Circuit Court.

The Case

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Part of $17.7 M Settlement Obtained by Levin & Perconti for Brain Injured Client

On Thursday evening, the University of Illinois Board of Trustees approved a $16.2 million settlement, part of a $17.7 million settlement, for our client, George Nissen, who suffered a devastating brain injury while under the care of nursing staff at the University of Illinois at Chicago Medical Center (UIC). Chicago injury lawyer Steve Levin, along with associate Margaret Battersby, represented George, now 47, in the medical malpractice lawsuit.

George, a former Stone Park, IL police officer, sustained a brain stem herniation when UIC hospital staff failed to monitor his intracranial pressure (ICP) during an external ventricular drain (EVD) challenge. As a result of the nursing staff’s negligence, he now suffers from quadriplegia, cannot eat , and can only communicate to family, friends and caregivers through eye movements and head shaking.

The lawsuit alleged that during this challenge, nursing staff failed to properly monitor George’s intracranial pressure. During an EVD challenge, nursing staff must closely monitor a patient’s ICP to ensure that it does not exceed acceptable limits. When a patient’s ICP level gets too high, a nurse must notify a physician. Throughout the night, George’s ICP was at dangerous levels, but his caregivers failed to recognize these changes in his neurological condition.

“As a result of this negligence, George’s ICP level dangerously elevated, his neurological status declined, and his physicians were not notified until he had already suffered catastrophic injuries,” said attorney Steven Levin.

“The settlement was reached on the eve of trial,” added Steve. “Now that the Board has approved the settlement, the family must wait for the Court to approve the settlement order. This should occur in the coming weeks.” In addition to the $16.2 million paid by UIC, a defendant nursing agency will also pay $1.5 million.

Click on the link to read the full press release announcing this medical malpractice settlement.
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Two of our Chicago nursing home lawyers at Levin & Perconti filed a nursing home negligence lawsuit today against ManorCare at Elk Grove Village. The suit was filed on behalf of a nursing home resident victimized by the facility’s inadequate care-Margaret Mock of Schaumburg.

Margaret was 76 when she was admitted to ManorCare in August of 2009, about 15 months ago. She decided to move into the facility to rehabilitate from recent surgery she underwent following a fall at her home. She had broken her wrist, elbow, and hip in the accident. Before the home fall Margaret was able to walk on her own with a walker.

The nursing staff at ManorCare was alerted to the fact that Margaret was at risk for a fall. Obviously because she was at the nursing home specifically to recover from a previous fall, it was imperative that the nursing home staff ensure that Margaret not suffer another fall. Unfortunately, the facility did not that that responsibility very seriously-no care plan was created to safeguard her against the risk of fall. At the very least, it would have been normal protocol for a process to be put in place to transfer her safely to and from her wheelchair.

The lack of care taken ultimately led to a serious fall only a bit over a month after arriving at ManorCare. On September 26, 2009 Margaret fell while a nursing assistant improperly transferred her from her bed to wheelchair. The consequences of the fall were severe. She broke her leg in two places, and was unable to undergo surgery to repair the injury because of her already weakened condition.
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Two of our attorneys, Steven Levin and Scott Richard, filed a lawsuit against ManorCare Health Services-Hinsdale today following the wrongful death of Dolores “Dee” Howorth. Dee died less than a month after moving into the Hinsdale nursing home and being admitted to the facility’s dementia unit. She suffered from Alzheimer’s but was alert and active-she remained a lively, integral part of her family. In fact, her son Hank Howorth and his wife Chrissie specifically chose the facility at ManorCare because they wanted their mother to be given what they assumed would be specialized care for her dementia.

Unfortunately, specialized care was the last thing Dee would receive at the facility. Within the first four days, ManorCare doctors prescribed Dee two medications: Ativan and Seroquel. On top of that, the facility immediately assigned Dee to a wheel-chair with a lap restraint.

It wasn’t long before the family noticed clear changes in their once lively family member. When Hank and Chrissie first visited, Dee seemed overmedicated, drowsy, and was constantly slumped in her wheelchair. Hank questioned nursing home staff about his mother’s state at the facility, but he was assured that her condition was only temporary.

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Chicago nursing home lawyer Susan Novosad of Levin & Perconti helped the family of a victim of nursing home abuse in their settlement against the Mercy Health Care Rehabilitation Center, securing a $690,000 settlement for the 87-year-old victim’s family recently.

The victim was initially admitted to the nursing home after suffering a stroke that caused her some left-sided weakness. When she entered the nursing home she required supervision and needed assistance with activities. She was known to be a fall risk. However, despite the nursing home’s knowledge of her fall risk, they allowed her to fall. She suffered a right femur fracture which was treated with a brace. While still in the nursing home’s care, she suffered a skin breakdown from the brace rubbing against her leg. This breakdown still went untreated by the nursing home staff and the victim developed Osteomyelitis. The combination of the fracture and the infection contributed to the victim’s death seven months later, according to the settlement report.

The nursing home negligence complaint alleged that the defendant nursing home failed to appropriately develop, implement or revise a care plan to address the decedent’s fall risk and failed to ensure that the decedent received proper supervision to prevent falls. It also stated that after her fall, the nursing home failed to provide preventative measures to avoid the development of skin breakdown, and failed to provide the necessary treatment and services to promote the healing of the decedent’s skin breakdown. If you believe that a nursing home is not addressing your loved one’s risk for falls, we recommend that you consult with staff to address the preventions they are using to prevent falls. If your loved one endures a serious injury in a nursing home fall, consult a nursing home lawyer.

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Chicago nursing home attorney Susan Novosad of Levin & Perconti helped a victim of nursing home negligence settle a lawsuit against Manorcare Health Services, Inc. in Libertyville, Illinois. HRC Manor Care at Libertyville settled the nursing home lawsuit for $650,000 with the former nursing home resident. The victim was first admitted to the nursing home in April 2007 for rehabilitation after spinal surgery. While the staff did develop a care plan, they failed to include any individualized approaches to prevent pressure ulcers. About a month after her admission to the nursing home, employees discovered a very large necrotic sacral pressure ulcer and she had to be transferred to a local hospital for treatment. The nursing home victim home injuries included an infected pressure ulcers and osteomyelitis which resulted in surgery and a prolonged long-term care stay.

Residents in nursing homes are susceptible to developing pressure ulcers because many are in wheelchairs or are immobile. If nursing home staff fails to turn or reposition residents on a regular basis, residents may develop pressures ulcers. Staff must also frequently check the skin condition of residents who are at risk for pressure sores to ensure that sores are not forming. Prevention is the key, as they are very difficult to treat. If a nursing home does everything they can to prevent pressure sores and a sore forms, the home has a duty to treat the injury to try to prevent it from worsening. To learn more, visit the Mayo Clinic’s page on pressure sore prevention.

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The Chicago nursing home abuse lawyers of Levin & Perconti filed an amended complaint in the McHenry County Circuit Court yesterday in a lawsuit against Woodstock Residence. Our attorneys represent the family of Virginia Cole in a civil lawsuit against the nursing home and two former employees. The original complaint alleges that the nursing home and named employees administered lethal doses of morphine that led to Cole’s death at the age of 78. The amended complaint adds the medical director at the time of Cole’s death as a defendant, alleging that the director was negligent in his care of Cole. The complaint alleges that the medical director diagnosed Cole incorrectly, neglected to determine if she was in pain before he ordered morphine and failed to make sure the nursing home was handling controlled substances, such as morphine, properly.

According to Illinois nursing home attorney Steve Levin, the lawsuit does not allege that the named medical director was aware that employees were giving Cole and other nursing home residents unneeded doses of morphine, a narcotic pain killer that is used to treat severe pain. The medical director was also named in a wrongful death suit that was filed on behalf of another Woodstock resident whose death is in question.

In addition to the civil wrongful death lawsuit, a criminal lawsuit has also been filed against the two former employees. We will continue to provide news and information on the “Angel of Death” case in McHenry County as it becomes available. To read the Northwest Herald‘s coverage of the nursing home lawsuit, click on the hyperlink.