The Anixter Center is one of the biggest providers for the disabled in the Chicagoland area, and has held a state operating license as a group home. In a recent unfortunate incident, on the first day of November 2014, an Anixter resident choked on food and died while on a group trip outside the home when the group stopped for fast food. It has been alleged that his caregivers did not provide the mandated one-on-one supervision to the patient during mealtime.
The Tragic Case
The suit alleged that caregivers allowed our client to eat a hamburger on his own without supervision, but his care plan called for a “mechanical soft diet” in which he could only eat small pieces of his meal one at a time under close supervision. The reason for this was to ensure the man did not choke on his food, and as a press release indicates, our client was known to not have teeth and was prone to eating rapidly. He was found unresponsive in the backseat of the van carrying the group back to the home, and died upon arrival at a hospital.
Special Care Needed
As stated above, this particular group home’s mission is to care for those with disabilities. The resident in this case suffered from a developmental disability as well as a schizoaffective disorder. He needed substantial care and assistance on a daily basis at this facility, which is called a community integrated living arrangement (CILA) group home, including meal supervision.
CILA homes are a special type of group home in the state of Illinois that typically house no more than eight “unrelated adults with developmental disabilities,” and its mission is to give “complete and individualized residential habitation, personal support services.” A CILA home is staffed by individuals from a developmental services agency, known as a community support team. As with nursing homes and long-term care facilities, CILA group home staffers are also subject to laws meant to protect residents and ensure they receive a high quality of care and are not subject to abuse or neglect that could result in injury, permanent disability or death.
Our client’s sister has filed a lawsuit against the CILA group home alleging that staff neglected her brother in spite of his disabilities and in the face of clear doctor’s orders and a care plan, and that this neglect resulted in his death. The plaintiff is represented by Levin & Perconti.
While the case is only at the complaint stage and nothing has yet been proven, this particular incident and the ensuing lawsuit demonstrate the need to vigorously hold nursing homes, assisted care facilities, and community integrated living arrangement group homes accountable for abuse or neglect that results in harm to or death of residents in their care. It also shows just how vulnerable residents of these facilities are and how they need proper quality of care and attention, especially when they have specific medical circumstances or disabilities that require it, and especially when doctor’s lay out a clear care plan tailored to specific patients. And lastly, this case shows the need for competent attorneys well versed in the laws of abuse and negligence, particularly as they relate to medical providers like nursing homes and CILA homes, and vulnerable patients like the elderly and the disabled.
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