All cases involving mistreatment at a local nursing home are often referred to as Illinois nursing home neglect cases. Of course, this is just a shorthand way of describing the basic issues in the case and not a technical legal term. For example, when one passes away as a result of the neglect, the situation often spurs what is known as a “wrongful death” claim. These claims are made on behalf of survivors for the harm they suffered as a result of losing their loved one–not the harm suffered by the resident who passed away. Explaining all of these details and working within the system to ensure proper accountability and recovery is the job of a nursing home neglect attorney.
For example, in our latest issue of Client Tell–the Levin & Perconti newsletter–we share the story of a recent case in which two of our Chicago nursing home neglect lawyers helped secure a $1 million wrongful death settlement for a local family.
The nursing home resident in this case was only 34-years old when she entered the nursing home following a stroke. To prevent additional problems she was put on blood thinning medication. However, this came with known risks because she had a history of internal bleeding. To account for those risks staff members at the facility needed to closely monitor her blood, warning her physician if it ever became too thin.
Sadly, the resident never received the care she needed. The nurses did not notify the doctor when her blood thinned, the doctor never visited her, and the woman bled to death.
This tragedy is made all the more heartbreaking, because the woman was only supposed to be at the facility for a short time to help in the immediate recovery following the stroke. The woman’s sisted noted that “During [her] stay at the nursing home she was never seen by a doctor, and no one from the nursing home called my mother when my sister passed away.”
The family contacted the Illinois nursing home lawyers at Levin & Perconti to see what legal rights they have to demand accountability. In late 2008 a lawsuit was officially filed citing the physician and facility for their negligence which led to the woman’s untimely passing. Earlier this year the case settled for nearly $1 million.
Hopefully those involved will never again allow these sorts of apses to take the life of another in their care. Monitoring changes in condition are absolutely critical parts of proper nursing home care. Many still fail to provide adequate care.
As one the attorneys working on this case, Jordan Powell, noted, “Unfortunately, poor communication in nursing homes is all too common, and our firm has represented a number of people who have died because of these avoidable mistakes.”
Miscommunication (or lack of communication) is often the root of negligence. When staff members do not communicate with one another and doctors about resident issues, then serious problems often slip through the cracks. Understaffing often exacerbates the problem, because caregivers are constantly rushing around from one need to another.
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