$17,700,000

Brain injury due to nursing staff negligence

$14,000,000

Ignored x-ray results delaying diagnosis of lung cancer

$12,000,000

Failure to diagnosis causes wrongful death

$10,000,000

Truck ran over five year boy

$7,620,000

HMO doctor ignored mother's complaints resulting in death

$7,000,000

Vietnam veteran PTSD wrongful death

COVID-19 in Nursing Homes - Learn More.

covid-19 best practice

Learn How You Can Help Nursing Homes During The Coronavirus Pandemic

According to John Hopkins University School of Medicine, recent estimates show nursing home residents make up less than one-half of one percent of the U.S. population but represent approximately 15 percent of COVID-19 related deaths to date. Many of these patients are frail and vulnerable, have multiple chronic conditions, and are under the care of health workers who face complex challenges.

Those challenges may include:

Levin & Perconti Partner Speaks Up for Illinois Nursing Home Residents

Each week, it’s expected that an increasingly high number of U.S. nursing homes will have confirmed cases of COVID-19 and subsequent outbreaks among residents and staff. In Joliet, Illinois, the view is also looking grim. On April 23, Steven Levin, a partner and attorney at Levin & Perconti, spoke with The Times Weekly about the alarming issues arising at Symphony of Joliet. The newspaper is reporting that the facility has more confirmed cases and deaths from coronavirus than any other long-term care facility in Will County.

Levin & Perconti has a history of helping families file lawsuits against Symphony facilities for negligence. Unfortunately, those same failures are being highlighted and have become more noticeable due to the spread of COVID-19.

“We are currently representing several family members of residents at Symphony of Joliet nursing home,” Levin told The Times Weekly. “We’re receiving an increased number of calls directly from residents’ families.”

financial abuse of elderly in nursing homes

Finding Out If Someone Is Stealing Your Loved One’s Money

The Office of Financial Protection for Older Americans has reported nearly $1.7 billion worth of suspicious activities, including actual losses and attempts to steal older adults’ funds. Unfortunately, the elderly, especially nursing home residents, are easy victims of financial abuse. And officials say these occurrences likely only represent a small fraction of elder financial abuse incidences. Family members or someone the victim may know, such as a long-term care facility worker, are too often the guilty party in these cases.

Financial losses are almost always more significant when the older adult knows the suspect. In 2017, the average loss per person was about $50,000 when the older adult knew the suspect and $17,000 when the suspect was a stranger. This is because residents may be very trusting to their caregivers and family members. In addition, the National Council on Aging estimates that more than 20 percent of nursing home residents are victims of financial abuse, and residents who suffer from memory disorders such as dementia are taken advantage of more often. These patients have trusting behaviors and cognitive disabilities, making them highly susceptible to the exploitation or mismanagement of their personal funds.

covid-19 nursing homes understaffed

As of Friday, May 1, nursing home workers at 64 Illinois facilities have said they will strike on May 8 due to the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE), safety training, testing, emergency benefits, hazard pay, and paid time off for coronavirus-related illnesses. The workers are represented by SEIU Healthcare, a growing union of healthcare, child care, home care and nursing home workers in the Midwest.

According to the most recent news release by SEIU, “Family members, faith leaders and community supporters will call upon nursing home owners to promptly settle a fair contract with the provisions needed to safeguard both workers and residents—including above-poverty base wages, hazard pay during the current crisis, appropriate and adequate levels of PPE, plus the increased staffing levels to support quality resident care.”

Many of the workers have also been reported to say that facility owners and operators have “refused to increase staffing levels or protect workers’ healthcare coverage and haven’t been transparent about COVID-19 cases within their facilities.”

covid-19 cases in nursing homes

The Illinois Department of Health (IDPH) has made a map of the state’s long-term care facilities in Illinois with cases of COVID-19 among residents and staff public. The numbers are provisional, and the list is updated weekly to show lab-confirmed cases and cases meeting the Centers for Disease Control and Infection (CDC) outbreak case definition.

While facility administrators have been instructed to restrict visits, cancel group activities, shut down dining rooms and screen residents and staff for fevers and respiratory disease symptoms, we encourage family members of residents who reside in an Illinois long-term care facility to visit this map often to help understand the growing risk COVID-19 may present to their loved ones.

Visit the IDPH website here and scroll down to locate the county in which the facility you are looking for is in.

do not sign nursing home contracts

Many long-term care facilities, including nursing homes and assisted living centers, will request forced arbitration agreements to be signed before a resident has been admitted. And as one of the country’s leading nursing home and abuse law firms, the attorneys at Levin & Perconti believe that these agreements only make it more difficult for residents to seek justice in the case of them being harmed, injured, or neglected.

Forced pre-dispute arbitration:

  • takes advantage of vulnerable long-term care consumers

what are the stages and signs of dementia
An increase in those with declining cognitive abilities – such as dementia – affects an estimated 230,000 people in Illinois, according to the state’s Alzheimer’s Association. That number is expected to increase by 13 percent by 2025. Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease that can move slowly and requires unique support for individuals in each of the three stages: early (mild), middle (moderate), and late (severe). Many of the steps can overlap and symptoms become identified as dementia, which is the mental decline that accompanies Alzheimer’s patients.

  1. Early-stage Alzheimer’s (mild) 

In this stage, a person may still live independently, be employed, and have close relationships with friends and family. Their symptoms may not be as noticeable to them, but those close to them may start to identify early signs such as:

Nursing Homes Must Report COVID-19 Sicknesses and Deaths

COVID-19 has an alarming infection rate across the U.S., now totaling more than 672,000 confirmed cases, according to John Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. Many of the individuals at most risk of a COVID-19 infection in Illinois reside at one of the state’s 1,200 long-term care facilities, responsible for the care of more than 100,000 individuals. Several advocates for quality long-term care are now raising questions about how accurate the reporting of COVID-19 cases among Illinois residents truly is and how that may be causing a delay in preventing the spread of the disease.

Levin & Perconti partner and attorney Steven Levin spoke to Chicago ABC7 about the role of inaccuracies in reporting COVID-19 cases in the state, saying, “I believe that reported cases are the tip of the iceberg. I believe we are going to find a scary situation once independent observers can go into the nursing homes to see what’s happened.”

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) says as many as 305 long-term health care facilities have felt the impact of the highly contagious virus, with many nursing homes experiencing wide-spread community transmission. While there is no publicly available list of Illinois facilities battling coronavirus infections, on Wednesday, April 15, the state reported 1,587 cases associated with long-term facilities and 296 related deaths, including residents and staff.

levin & perconti coronavirus update questions

What kinds of social distancing measures are nursing homes taking at this stage of the pandemic?

CMS guidelines have eliminated all communal meals and activities to limit residents’ contact with each other and allow facilities to repurpose communal spaces (like activity rooms) to spread residents out. Likewise, CMS is prohibiting visitation by family and friends, advocates and non-essential health care providers. The only exception is for “compassionate situations,” including but not limited to end-of-life visitation. Visitors making compassionate visits will be required to wear personal protective equipment, comply with other safety measures and refrain from physical contact. Finally, a person exhibiting any respiratory symptoms whatsoever will not be allowed to visit.

Facilities should already be following longstanding CDC guidelines for infection prevention. Here are some questions that can guide your inquiry into whether they currently comply with the rules.

Levin & Perconti Promotes Attorney Andrew Thut to Partnership
Firm’s Partnership Expands to Eight Members With Work Continuing Even as Lawyers, Staff “Stay at Home”

Levin & Perconti is proud to welcome Andrew J. (“A.J.”) Thut as the firm’s newest partner.

Thut has been with the firm since 201 and earned his law degree from Loyola University Chicago School of Law. A.J. has successfully settled and tried to verdict a variety of cases, including a $2.77 million jury verdict in a nursing home fall case.

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