Town of Cicero Sues City View Multicare Center for Lack of Coronavirus-Related Infection Control Measures
On May 1, the Town of Cicero filed a scathing complaint against City View Multicare Center, LLC, the State of Illinois, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), and Governor JB Pritzker, in his official capacity. The complaint came after Cicero officials and essential workers became aware of a “troubling uptick in illness at City View” along with concerning conditions at City View that started nearly two months prior to the pandemic. According to town reports, the complaint timeline for a series of dangerous coronavirus related events impacting the community goes as follows.
- Paramedics arrived at City View and observed residents in the cafeteria without personal protective equipment (PPE).
- First responders were told that these individuals were from the dementia floor, and as such, the requirement of PPE was not being followed.
At all times prior to the encounter, City View represented that they were following such recommendations as issued by the CDC, IDPH, and the Town of Cicero. However, on April 4, City View reported five new COVID-19 cases, and by April 13, City View confirmed 33 positive cases.
- A City View nurse reported that the facility contracted COVID-19 as a result of an ill staff member being ordered to return to work.
- Staff members also told Town officials that City View failed to employ staff guidelines and/or an infection control policy in response to the outbreak.
The Town of Cicero moved to file a complaint with IDPH voicing their concern about unsafe practices at the facility. However, Cicero officials claim the agency did not intervene.
- Town of Cicero personnel were dispatched to City View and observed the facility staff performing CPR on residents without PPE.
- At this time, 216 confirmed cases of COVID-19 were connected to City View, resulting in 41 staff members diagnoses and ten deaths, including one staff member.
The Town of Cicero again provided the Chicago suburb facility with notice documenting its collective failures to comply with the set forth infection control guidelines. City leaders issued a final request for relief, urging City View to adhere to the safety measures set forth to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in long-term care facilities.
The Swift Increase in COVID-19 Cases at City View Ignites May 8th Lawsuit
Today, City View Multicare Center, located at 5825 W Cermak Rd in Cicero, has reported more than 200 positive cases of COVID-19 to the IDPH. More than 600 individuals, including residents and employees at City View, have been tested after an April coronavirus outbreak caused ten deaths.
The mountain of complaints resulted in a May 8, 2020 Town of Cicero suit against City View (and others) alleging the long-term care site was not following federal, state and local directives to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Following the lawsuit, on Tuesday, May 11, Cook County Circuit Judge Alison C. Conlon ordered IDPH to inspect the nursing home. The inspection must be held within 48 hours of the order and an inspection report is expected to be submitted to the court soon after.
The lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court included public nuisance claims that the facility HAS NOT:
- required staff or residents to wear appropriate PPE
- enforced social distancing policies
- provided readily available hand-washing stations
The lawsuit further went on to say, “City View’s alleged noncompliance with local, state and federal directives related to COVID-19 constitutes a public nuisance that poses a risk to the public health of Cicero residents.”
Conlon wrote, “The [t]own has also shown a likelihood of success on the claim for injunctive relief, to the extent that claim seeks relief in the form of compliance with existing federal, state and local guidelines and additional emergency assistance from state and local health departments.”
An injunction to force City View to transfer residents to alternative care facilities run by the state (Westlake Hospital or McCormick Place) was also requested. Conlon determined the town did not meet its burden regarding the request to relocate residents citing, “That would be inconsistent with current public health guidelines and impermissibly substitute the [t]own’s medical judgment for that of public health experts.”
A Temporary Restraining Order and Hearing Scheduled
Judge Conlon also granted a temporary restraining order that requires the facility to comply with all federal, state, and local directives related to COVID-19, including:
- providing sufficient PPE to residents and staff
- enforcing social distancing
- posting signs
- providing sufficient hand-washing stations
- monitoring people entering and exiting the site
This case is Town of Cicero v. City View Multicare Center LLC et al., 20 CH 4046 and these involved parties are scheduled to hold a hearing in this case.
- Michael Thomas Del Galdo, managing member and senior partner at Del Galdo Law Group LLC in Berwyn, is representing the Town of Cicero.
- The lawsuit names as defendants the IDPH and Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who are represented by the Illinois Attorney General’s office.
- City View is represented by Polsinelli P.C..
If you have concerns about a facility’s infection control practices, talk to the Director of Nursing, and share your feedback with an Illinois long-term care ombudsman in your community. IDPH has also created a hotline at 1-800-889-3931 to report issues related to COVID-19 infections at long-term care facilities. If and when you feel necessary, contact an Illinois nursing home abuse and neglect attorney at Levin & Perconti for help. Together we will help determine if you have a case, notify the proper authorities, and vigorously pursue justice for you and your loved one.
Levin & Perconti: Chicago Nursing Home Negligence Attorneys
Through our work, the attorneys at Levin & Perconti understand the extra care and precautions required to care for nursing home residents during this unprecedented time. Still, infection disease can never be ignored or disregarded. If you suspect elder neglect or abuse of any kind related to COVID-19 challenges, please contact us for a free consultation with one of our Chicago nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at 312-332-2872 or toll-free at 877-374-1417.