Articles Posted in Uncategorized

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The family of a man who died from sepsis and respiratory failure is suing Madison Health & Rehabilitation Center in Richmond, Kentucky for failing to correct and prevent pressure ulcers that led to his death.

Donald Shelton was admitted to Madison Health & Rehab with a foot wound and a pressure ulcer on his buttock and was expected to receive care to heal his injuries. Instead, the facility did not bathe Mr. Shelton in the 8 days he was a resident and failed to put together a care plan that outlined a course of treatment. In a span of just over a week, Mr. Shelton developed two additional bedsores and tissue death in his genital area that resulted in necrosis. As a result of the existing sores and newly developed ulcers, Mr. Shelton’s body and organs were overwhelmed by a serious infection known as sepsis. He died exactly 8 days after being admitted to Madison Health & Rehabilitation.

Pressure Ulcers – A Preventable Injury and Death

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The family of an elderly couple who died within 2 months of each other at a Eugene, Oregon nursing home has sued the facility, citing wrongful death as a result of the alleged incompetent and negligent care the couple received while living at the home.

Harvey and Maxine Hanson, 92 and 91 at the time of their deaths, were admitted to Avamere Riverpark of Eugene in March 2014. Both patients were classified as a high fall risk and despite Mr. Hanson’s doctor’s advice for physical therapy, Mr. Hanson managed to fall 13 times in the mere 8 months he resided at Avamere, never receiving the recommended therapies to reduce his risk. Mrs. Hanson fell at least 4 times while a resident.

Falls Just One of Many Disturbing Claims

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A new trend has emerged in several states including Pennsylvania & New Mexico: Attorneys General partnering with private law firms to sue large nursing home chains for negligent care, Medicare/Medicaid fraud, and deceptive marketing tactics. An article in a December edition of Reading Eagle, a Reading, PA newspaper, puts a spotlight on this growing movement to improve the quality of care received at nursing homes in all states. In Pennsylvania alone, Attorney General Bruce Beemer has filed 3 lawsuits (one of which has since settled) against 3 of Pennsylvania’s largest nursing home chains in the past year and a half. The case versus Reliant Senior Care (now Priority Healthcare Group) settled for a reported $2 million and was the largest nursing home settlement in PA won by an attorney general. The other two chains who are still locked in a legal battle against the state are Golden Living Centers and Grane Health Care.

Sending a Message

Nursing home industry advocates are obviously unnerved by partnerships between attorneys general and private law practices who have a history of success in helping right the injustices caused by big business on the American people. While these advocates argue that private law firms are giving donations to campaigns for attorneys general to essentially guarantee they’ll be called upon for future work, the law does not seem to be on their side. The State of Pennsylvania was unsuccessfully sued by the nursing home industry for such practices.  Elderly advocates believe working relationships between public and private legal entities will send a message to the industry that American taxpayers expect more from facilities receiving Medicare & Medicaid tax dollars.

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A Hinton, West Virginia nursing home is being sued over the death of a 77 year old who sustained unidentified injuries while she being cared for at their facility. Emma Petrey was a resident of Summer Nursing & Rehabilitation Center for nearly 3 years before she died in October 2014 from alleged improper care at the hands of the facility.

The lawsuit alleges that the facility and its operators failed to provide safe living conditions and adequate care, thus resulting in Ms. Petrey’s life-ending injuries.

Any sign of injury incurred while being cared for at nursing home or care facility can be an indication of abuse, improper care, inadequate training of staff, or lack of supervision. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries while residing in a nursing home, the elder abuse attorneys at Levin & Perconti can help you determine if you may have reason to pursue legal action.

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A bit of good news came in September, when the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), shared their latest updates to regulations surrounding the Nursing Home Reform Law, which governs the health & safety standards for all long term care (LTC) facilities receiving funding from Medicare and/or Medicaid.

The common theme among the newly introduced regulations is person-centered care for those residing in (or representing those residing) in an LTC. CMS describes these changes as allowing residents to be more in control of their care and discharge planning. Justice in Aging recently released a fact sheet highlighting the new provisions.

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Democrat Senator Chuck Schumer has spoken out against Republicans’ ‘War on Seniors.’

Trump’s recent pick for Secretary of Health & Human Services, Rep. Tom Price, an outspoken Medicare opponent from Georgia, has Schumer calling on all Americans to band together to fight back. Schumer says that the nomination of Price, along with threats from Republicans to privatize Medicare, is making it apparent that Washington Republicans are waging a war against seniors.

Particularly important is the battle to save 5 Senate seats in conservative states in 2018. Protecting these seats will give strength in numbers to the Democrats’ fight against Republican-proposed changes to Medicare’s single-payer system.

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Legionnaire’s disease is a serious and often deadly illness that can be acquired through contaminated water. A woman living in a local nursing home died after acquiring legionnaire’s disease while under their care. The woman’s family filed a lawsuit against Warren Barr Gold Coast alleging that their negligent care caused the woman’s death from legionnaire’s disease. The lawsuit was filed in Cook County and is seeking damages of more than $50,000.

Legionnaire’s Disease

Legionnaire’s disease is an inflammation of the lungs, similar to pneumonia. It is a very serious and often fatal disease that is highly contagious. The infection is caused by bacteria called legionella. The disease is not spread by person to person contact but instead through a contaminated water supply. Most often, victims get the disease by inhaling contaminated air. The disease was named after the first known cases in which the victims were part of a group of Legionnaires who were participating in a convention at a hotel.

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One of the most common injuries that occur in nursing homes is the pressure ulcer. Many people do not realize that pressure ulcers are preventable and are actually a sign of nursing home neglect. Pressure ulcers, also known as bedsores and pressure sores, are very serious injuries in the elderly and can lead to severe infection, a decline in health, and even death. Recently a family filed a lawsuit against Heather Health Care Center, Inc. and others alleging improper care led to the death of their loved one. The woman died as a result of complications from pressure ulcers.

Pressure Ulcers

Pressure ulcers may not seem serious at first. They begin as small red marks on the skin. They appear on areas that are in continuous contact with surfaces such as bed linens. Pressure ulcers can quickly worsen if left untreated. One of the problems with these injuries is that they may not be immediately noticed. By the time they are discovered they have deepened and the skin may be broken. These sores can very easily become infected. Once an infection has begun it can be difficult to resolve.

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Nursing care facilities are often utilized for rehabilitation after elderly people undergo surgical procedures. Care must be properly provided in order to facilitate a successful recovery. In one recent case a woman died after allegedly receiving improper nursing home care after surgery. The woman’s family filed a lawsuit in Cook County against The Villa at South Holland, LLC and Villa Healthcare Management, Inc. stating that negligence at the facility led to the woman’s death.

Post-Surgery Recovery

Many people enter care facilities for an interim period after discharge from a hospital. After an operation, a period of recovery and rehabilitation is often necessary. Hospitals no longer allow patients to remain for the duration of their recovery period. Thus, nursing care facilities are the logical choice for those who need some assistance after having had surgery. The woman in this case underwent neck surgery and was admitted to the center for her after-care period.

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The family of a man who died due to nursing home neglect has filed a lawsuit against the facility. The lawsuit was filed in Cook County naming Ballard Nursing Center by Levin & Perconti on behalf of the man’s estate administrator. The man was a resident of the nursing home in 2014 and 2015 when he suffered severe injuries because of improper care. The man developed pressure sores which worsened and contributed to his death.

Pressure Sores

Pressure sore are painful red skin irritations that develop on areas of the body that come into continual contact with bedding or other items. Sores begin as minor irritations but can quickly deepen and become infected if they go untreated. The development of pressure sores is almost always a sign of nursing home neglect. Patients who are unable to move on their own require regular repositioning. This must be done by nursing home staff on a regular basis, at least every few hours.