“Imagine someone in the inside of a car with the doors locked and the windows rolled up and that person is nonverbal and can’t communicate. And you leave that person in the car until they die.
That’s what happened to our client, but it happened in a health care facility instead of a car.” Attorney Steve Levin
Levin & Perconti has filed a lawsuit against Glenshire Nursing and Rehabilitation Center on behalf of the family of a man who died last October due to extreme temperatures inside the facility.
Parnell Benjamin had suffered a prior stroke and was left nonverbal and unable to care for himself. Last year, at just 44 years old, he was admitted to Glenshire Nursing and Rehabilitation with the hope that the nursing home could provide the round-the-clock care that he required. Just 4 days later he died from hyperthermia after staff repeatedly noted excessive temperatures within the facility, but allowed residents to suffer. Parnell Benjamin died after his body temperature soared to 108 degrees. He is one of two residents who died as a result of the dangerous temperatures within the facility, while 7 others reportedly suffered serious injuries.
Founding Partner Steven Levin is handling the case for the family and was interviewed by NBC 5 on Monday night. To demonstrate just how egregious the behavior of Glenshire was, he compared Mr. Benjamin’s death to someone leaving a nonverbal person in a hot car with the doors locked and the windows up. Levin said “that’s what happened to our client, but it happened in a healthcare facility instead of a car.”
Federal Incident Report Finds List of Fatal Errors, Including Understaffing
In November 2017, inspectors from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) were called to investigate the facility. Their report describes the situation last October as beginning with a maintenance worker who turned on the heat before leaving for the day. By his next shift, staff was complaining that the facility was too hot, and he reports that he turned off the boiler, opened windows and doors, and put fans in the hallway. Despite these measures, the heat continued.
An LPN told investigators that he noticed how hot it was and that there were only 2 RNs on duty to care for 40 ventilator patients on the facility’s 3rd floor. He says he called the Director of Nursing around 1 a.m., but that she didn’t answer and he didn’t leave a message. Another LPN told investigators that the Director of Nursing was new and that no one had contact information for her. That same LPN also said he didn’t know what the weather emergency policy was at Glenshire, but that he gave ice and over-the-counter pain medication to his residents.
The LPN who allegedly claims to have contacted the director of nursing also says he provided cold compresses, gave ice to residents who were allowed to consume it, and opened the windows in rooms. However, investigators could not find any documentation of the staff’s actions to take care of residents suffering from the heat that night. The same LPN told investigators that Parnell Benjamin and the other resident that died did not have an assigned nurse that night because the facility was understaffed.
LPNs told investigators that the 3rd floor of the facility, the same floor in which Mr. Benjamin was a resident, should have a minimum of 3 RNs because the medical needs are complex and these residents require more attention. During at least one of the eight hour shifts in which the temperature at Glenshire went uncontrolled, a CNA says she was the ONLY one tending to the entire 3rd floor.
Mr. Benjamin’s record at Glenshire also states that his vitals should be checked every shift. During the time period in question, his vitals were consistently recorded at 98.4, obviously at odds with his rising body temperature. His file also contains no documentation of the change in his overall condition, nor of any interventions to relieve his suffering from the heat.
Levin & Perconti: Chicago’s Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorneys
Glenshire Nursing and Rehabilitation Center is located just outside Chicago in Richton Park, a suburb southwest of the city. The facility currently has a 1 star (much below average) rating on Nursing Home Compare, along with a 1 star rating for staffing. Mr. Benjamin’s case is just one of a number of lawsuits that Levin & Perconti has successfully handled against Glenshire Nursing and Rehabilitation over the years.
If someone you love has suffered due to extreme temperatures or other dangerous conditions within a nursing home, contact the nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys of Levin & Perconti now for a free consultation at 312-332-2872 or by completing our online case evaluation form. With over half a billion dollars recovered for our clients and unparalleled success at holding nursing homes accountable for wrongdoing, you have nothing to lose.