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Evidentiary Matters Settled in Second Angel of Death Nursing Home Case

Blog readers know that our Chicago nursing home attorneys at Levin & Perconti have filed an Illinois wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of Virginia Cole, one of the victims in the so-called “Angel of Death” case. Ms. Cole was 78 years old when she unexpectedly died of complications from a variety of symptoms, including confusion, hypothermia, and bradycardia-together indicating a possible drug overdose.

Ms. Cole died only a few days after being taken to the hospital from the Woodstock nursing home. The very day before she was taken to the hospital, Ms. Cole was reportedly in great spirits, visiting with residents up and down the facility showing off her new hair style. Her daughter had visited her the very morning she was brought to the hospital.

A nurse at the facility is awaiting trial for intentionally providing drug overdoses to several residents at the facility, including Ms. Cole. Specifically she has been charged with four counts of criminal neglect, obtaining a controlled substance by misrepresentation, and unlawful distribution of a controlled substance.

The trial is set for the middle of October, but some evidentiary matters are already being decided. For example, the Northwest Herald recently explained how a judge recently ruled that prosecutors in the criminal case would be allowed to use a conversation of the nurse taped while talking with Illinois state police investigators. The defense had argued procedural violations should exclude the information from trial because of the conditions under which the conversation occurred.

The United States Supreme Court has ruled that information that is obtained under certain circumstances can be excluded from trial. However, the judge found that none of those conditions were met in this case. He determined that the nurse was not in custody at the time of the conversation and thus there was no confinement or coercion which would trigger the exclusionary rule.

Our Illinois wrongful death lawyers will continue to pursue the truth and fair justice in cases like this involving reckless nursing home behavior. Local families place their trust in the facilities where their loved ones reside. It is simply unconscionable that these local nursing homes would allow this to occur repeatedly. The parties responsible for this conduct at all levels must be held responsible.

See Our Related Blog Posts:

“Angel of Death” Civil Will Likely have Different Outcome Than Criminal Trial

Woodstock Nursing Home Resident Died of Overdose of Non-Prescribed Drug

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