Recently a Chicago nursing home neglect lawyer at our firm, Patricia L. Gifford, settled a lawsuit on behalf of a family who alleged their loved one failed to receive adequate care at a nursing home. The resident-who has since passed away-developed bed sores and saw his overall health decline while a resident of the facility. The Illinois nursing home neglect lawsuit was filed by the family in an effort to ensure proper accountability and redress for their loved one.
The resident in this incident was only fifty six years old when he was admitted into the facility in early 2005. He faced serious of physical and mental health problems at that time, having been diagnoses with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Because of the man’s particular situation, it was known ahead of time that he was at risk of suffering falls and developing decubitus ulcers-also referred to as bed sores or pressure ulcers. Those working on nursing home neglect cases understand that facilities always have the obligation to act reasonably to prevent these medical ailments, and their reasonable conduct is influenced by their knowledge about the resident’s particular risks for developing certain physical problems.
Unfortunately, as alleged in the lawsuit, the facility did not properly account for the man’s vulnerabilities. In November of 2005-about nine months after first entering the facility-the man fell. He suffered a left hip fracture in the fall. As often happens when a nursing home resident suffers a fall, the injury left the man with mobility issues. Bedridden residents or those who have trouble moving on their own are at the greatest risk of developing bed sores.
While the man in this case was recovering from the fall he began to developed the ulcers. Other medical problems came along with the bed sores. He was malnourished and developed a chronic bone infection. All together these injuries wrought havoc on his overall physical and mental well being. The man was removed from the facility shortly afterward, but the damage was extensive. The resident passed away in late September of 2007.
Seeking to ensure that there was accountability for the mistreatment, the man’s family sought out the help of our nursing home neglect attorneys. We eventually filed suit against the home alleging that the facility acted negligently which resulted in the man’s injuries. Specifically, the suit alleged that the nursing home did not properly assess the resident’s fall risk or supervise him properly to ensure that he was not hurt in a fall. In addition, the suit alleged that the facility was negligent in providing care-failing to reposition him in bed or putting a plan in place to prevent bed sore development. In addition, the lawsuit claimed that the facility failed to ensure that proper medical treatment was provided so that he could recover from the pressure sores.
Fortunately, both sides in this case were able to reach a settlement agreement to resolve the matter without the need to go to trial. The defendant-facility agreed to pay the man’s estate $800,000 to settle the case.
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