Articles Tagged with wrongful death

Steve Levin

A message from Attorney Steven Levin

By now it seems self-evident that the nursing homes and assisted living centers housing many of our elderly and most vulnerable citizens are uniquely susceptible to outbreaks of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.

We know that the disease is particularly dangerous for older people. We understand intuitively that a site where older people — some of whom cycle in and out of hospitals, bringing germs back and forth — live in close quarters, with shared spaces and resources, faces heightened risk for infection and contagion.

nursing home security failure

Nursing Home Resident Was Smothered to Death by Signed-In Visitor

Police in Florida have arrested William Hawkins, 47, after being charged with breaking into the Tiffany Hall Nursing & Rehab Center in Port St. Lucie and smothering a 95-year-old resident to death with a pillow. The man matched the description provided by staff members and was also listed as a visitor for the victim. The murder happened in January 2020.

The man reportedly confessed to the crime while speaking to his estranged sister in jail and explained that the nursing home resident had written a book about him that upset him. According to The Daytona Beach News-Journal, Hawkins answered “yes” when asked if he smothered the victim and confessed to planning the killing for years.

huge hospital fine

Aperion Care Racked Up $367,000 in Fines For 2019 Nursing Home Violations

In 2019, one Illinois nursing home chain, branded under the Aperion Care name, was fined nearly $367,000 by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) in response to failing to correct serious deficiencies in care and safety of its residents. Aperion Care has 35 Illinois facilities, the majority of which have only one-of-five-star ratings by Medicare.

Most recently, Aperion made a $6 million offer to take over Rock Island’s Hope Creek Care Center. But Aperion’s reputation and questionable level of care residents may receive has alarmed both community and county board members. With a quick review through the quarterly violation reports for Illinois nursing facilities, courtesy of IDPH, it easy to identify why these Aperion Care facilities are fined so often, and also validate the concerns of the Rock Island community.

bed sores kill patient

Nursing Home Resident Was Humiliated With “Lap Dance” Before Dying from Bed Sores, Malnutrition, Sepsis

The family of Fred Pittman, an 84-year-old man who died after a stay at Cumberland Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in New Jersey has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the home, alleging he was a victim of negligence. According to the suit, the man was a long-term care patient at the facility from late January through mid-February 2018. The lawsuit, filed in state Superior Court, alleges staff at Cumberland Manor neglected to “allocate sufficient resources to adequately provide” and otherwise “exercise reasonable care” and failed to:

  • prevent and timely treat injuries

Nationally Respected Attorneys

Three Illinois Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Cases That Gained National Attention in 2019

Levin & Perconti is a nationally renowned law firm concentrating in all types of nursing home abuse and neglect claims as well as personal injury, medical malpractice, and wrongful death lawsuits. The firm’s founding partners, Steve Levin and John Perconti were among the first nursing home lawyers in Illinois and are highly regarded among their peers and adversaries for their outstanding work on behalf of victims of abuse and neglect.

Today, the Chicago based firm stands behind three decades of winning experience in defending residents who have had their rights violated and become injured while under the care of others. This is a brief review of three nursing home abuse and neglect cases represented by Levin & Perconti lawyers that made national and local news headlines in 2019.

nursing home abuse

Air Force Veteran Dies in Nursing Home, Covered in Ant Bites

Our team of nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys is again frustrated to hear of another veteran left in immediate danger in a Veterans Affairs (VA) nursing home regulated by the Federal government and Department of Veterans’ Affairs. Joel Marrable, a Vietnam War veteran, had taken up residence at the Eagles’ Nest Community Living Center and was dependent on the Atlanta, Georgia VA Medical Center for his daily living and ongoing medical needs. The 74-year-old veteran of the Air Force had been battling cancer before he recently died in the VA nursing home – covered in ant bites.

Marrable’s daughter, Laquna Ross told WSB-TV, “His room had ants, the ceiling, the walls, the beds. They were everywhere. The staff member says to me, ‘When we walked in here, we thought Mr. Marrable was dead. We thought he wasn’t even alive because the ants were all over him.'”

nursing home negligence

New Report Suggests Nursing Home Providers Should Help Reduce Choking Hazards Present with Popular Dietary Supplements 

A new Federal Drug Administration (FDA) report published in the August issue of Annals of Internal Medicine says adults aged 65 years and older are more likely to choke on dietary supplements than are younger adults. The group most impacted by the hazard includes those living in nursing homes or assisted living centers. The research shows multivitamins and calcium tablets, and pills larger than 17 mm in length, can create the highest related adverse choking injuries to elderly residents.

Because there is no oversight for the sizing of dietary supplements, the FDA report continued to suggest that eldercare providers help “residents avoid taking several pills at once, avoid extra-large pills or capsules, and swallow supplements with plenty of water or other fluid.”

nursing home abuse and neglect

CMS Will Publicly Post All Names of Most Concerning Care Facilities

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is reacting to the highly publicized release of U.S. Senators Bob Casey’s (D-PA) and Pat Toomey’s (R-PA) report titled, Families’ and Residents’ Rights to Know: Uncovering Poor Care in America’s Nursing Homes, by announcing it will soon disclose all of the names of care facility candidates in the agency’s Special Focus Facility (SFF) program. SFFs have a “persistent record of poor care” and were previously not available for the public to review. Some lawmakers and resident advocates even called the list a “scary secret” kept from the public to protect nursing home owners and their reputations.

The Pennsylvania lawmakers list included only 400+ facilities, 22 of which are located throughout Illinois, but there are almost 3,000 nursing homes that have a one-star rating on their health inspections, the worst ranking possible. With only 88 SFF program slots funded that likely leaves so many additional poor performing candidates for the program to publicly acknowledge. 

nursing home neglect

Long-Term Care Resident Left Unattended Dies While Smoking Near Oxygen Tank 

Ohio police in Oakwood Village are investigating the death of a resident from Grande Oaks Nursing Home. The man had caught on fire while smoking a cigarette in his wheelchair outside of the facility. Reports show he was allegedly smoking outside while using an oxygen tank when his wheelchair caught fire. Because staff allegedly were not aware, they did not respond. Unfortunately, it wasn’t until someone driving by noticed the fire and smoke and immediately contacted 911. Local police say they arrived to a smoldering wheelchair parked in front of the building with a male laying on the ground, face down. The man had already stopped breathing and CPR was administered. He later died from his burn-related injuries at a nearby hospital.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) policies show, “Oxygen use is prohibited in smoking areas for the safety of residents (NFPA 101, 2000 ed., 19.7.4). Facilities should ensure resident safety by such efforts as informing visitors of smoking policies and hazards to prevent smoking-related incidents and/or injuries.

nursing home wrongful death

Diabetic Patient Dies After Given Too Much Medication at California Care Facility

A diabetic patient has died at Bella Vista transitional care facility located in San Luis Obispo County in California, and the home is now facing a wrongful death lawsuit. The civil lawsuit states care staff gave an 85-year-old female patient too much medication to manage her diabetes when they dispensed four doses of medicine in less than four hours.

According to the complaint, the woman also had dementia, hypertension, hyperlipidemia in addition to her diabetes while a patient at Bella Vista the last eight months. She relied on facility staff for help with nearly all of her daily living activities and depended on them to manage her conditions and medications. As outlined in local news reports, the troubling events leading up to the woman’s death began in the early morning hours.

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