Justice for Veterans Served: Illinois Legislators Raise Claim Cap to $2 Million, Retroactive for Quincy Legionnaires’ Victims’ Families
Triggered in 2014, the misdiagnoses and poorly managed care of residents with Legionnaires’ disease claimed the lives of 15 veterans living at the state-run VA facility in Quincy over a two-year span. Because of the tragedies, a handful of advocacy groups and Illinois lawmakers have been working to prevent deaths like this from occurring again while proposing ways to seek justified claims on behalf of those who were lost due to the state’s negligence.
Sponsored by Sen. Michael Hastings, D-Tinley Park, Senate Bill 2481 was designed to provide support for the Quincy victims’ families and others in the future who will have the unfortunate occurrence of a loved one becoming injured or lost at the hands of a facility owned and operated by the State of Illinois. SB 2481 raises the cap on awards made by the Illinois Court of Claims from $100,000 to $2 million and as 2018 came to a close, the chamber voted in favor, 46-8 for the cap adjustment. The lawmakers move to amend the veto on the initial proposed legislation from Gov. Bruce Rauner was the right thing to do. Although Rauner agreed to raise the cap adjustment it was only to a mere $300,000. The attorneys and legal team at Levin & Perconti applaud the Illinois legislators responsible for seeing that the families impacted by the Quincy Veterans Home Legionnaires’ outbreaks will now be able to move forward.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 80 percent of all cases of Legionnaires’ are contracted at a long-term care facility and hospitals are responsible for as many as 18 percent of all cases. While advanced age is a risk factor for the disease, it also must be known that the water systems within nursing home facilities are not overseen with as much care as other facilities such as hotels or apartment complexes. Proper maintenance of water supplies along with quick recognition of symptoms and treatment associated with diseases like Legionnaires’ are essential to preventing deaths.
Nursing Home Residents Deserve to be Protected Against Legionnaires’ Disease
Legionnaires’ Disease should not be a risk factor in health care environments, a place where vulnerable patients who are already ill have fewer positive outcomes when preventative measures are not taken to reduce additional health concerns. If someone you love has fallen ill or died from Legionnaires’ Disease while a resident of a nursing home, a patient at a hospital, or a guest or resident of any other type of care facility, the Illinois nursing home and personal injury attorneys of Levin and Perconti can help you determine if you have cause to pursue legal action.
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