Levin & Perconti Represents Injured and Evicted World War II Veteran in Neglect Suit
World War II veteran Charles Banas flew two heroic bombing missions in the D-Day invasion on June 6, 1944. The 96-year-old family man had plans to attend the 75th anniversary of the historic event with a trip to England and France to participate in commemorating ceremonies this year. Unfortunately, Banas was not present due to the negligence of an Evanston senior living home, Westminster Place. Banas had previously been residing at Westminster for more than 15 years and also received nursing and rehabilitation care at its McGaw Care Center.
- Westminster Place is a north suburban community located at 3200 Grant St. in downtown Evanston made up of townhomes, cottages, and apartments designed for independent living and retirement. It is one of four Chicago-area retirement communities owned by Presbyterian Homes.
- McGaw is a facility located on the Westminster Place campus and provides therapy or rehabilitation to residents after an injury or illness.
- Westminster is responsible for sickening Banas and injuring his pelvis.
- His injuries and long recovery prevented him from attending the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion.
- The veteran has also since been evicted from his home.
Charles Banas and his daughter, Ardel Banas, filed a suit on June 19, 2019, in Cook County Circuit Court. The three-count lawsuit charges Westminster Place and its parent company, Presbyterian Homes with negligence and violating the Nursing Home Care Act. Levin & Perconti attorneys represent Banas and his family who are seeking more than $150,000 in damages.
“A Parade of Horribles” at Westminster
According to the suit, a sewage line at Westminster Place collapsed and required immediate repair in June of 2018. Administrators and staff did not appropriately respond to the issue, causing contaminated water to leak into the HVAC system at Banas’ home and sicken him. This created a buildup of mold and fecal bacteria in his living area and the surrounding floor, ultimately leading to his hospitalization, bed sores and serious injuries, and a retaliated against eviction.
- Sicknesses: Banas required treatment for both pneumonia and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a problematic bacterium to treat that causes infections in different parts of the body. The infection continues to be a leading cause of death and needless suffering for nursing home residents.
- Lengthy Recovery: Following his hospitalization, Banas required recovery time and was admitted to the McGaw Care Center, a nursing and rehabilitation facility at Westminster Place. For nursing home residents who face long recoveries, such as Banas, a sedentary lifestyle only creates a stronger connection to the development of chronic diseases and disabling conditions.
- Falls: Only a few days into his rehabilitative stay at McGaw, Banas fell and fractured his pelvis. Severe bone fractures are the typical result of fall injuries that lead to a decline in a person’s health and ultimately contribute to 20 percent or about 1,800 nursing home resident deaths each year. Westminster staff should have created and followed a care plan that includes fall prevention strategies, the most critical of which is consistent and attentive care.
- Bed Sores: Individuals who are unable to move on their own are more likely to be unable to reposition themselves and relieve the pressure on certain parts of their bodies. Banas also developed bed sores from being neglected while staying at McGaw. The presence of a pressure ulcer is undoubtedly an indication of mistreatment and can lead to severe infection, a general decline in overall health and even death. In the veteran’s case, his sores postponed any chance for a timely surgery to repair his pelvic fractures and put him through unnecessary emotional anguish and painful discomfort.
- Eviction: Months later, Banas let property owners know he planned to file charges only to be responded to with an eviction suit. Evictions can be justified, but Federal law requires homes to give residents 30 days’ notice of their decision, as well as the opportunity to appeal. The facility must also provide a thorough and specific explanation as to why they cannot care for the resident if that is the stated reason for the discharge. Retaliation is not a viable explanation for eviction.
All of these events created a stream of negligent services and care provided by Westminster administrators and McGaw staff, and possibly the wrongful eviction for the now permanently disabled veteran who has spent more than one million dollars for his residence and related care.
Levin & Perconti partner Steven Levin is the Banas’ family attorney and responded to the case with, “This case is really a parade of horribles. Think of all that he’s lived through, a World War II hero who got so sick because of this facility, who missed a once-in-a-lifetime honor and how even with all of the money he’s paid Westminster Place, and after all of the pain and suffering they have caused, they’re now trying to kick him out onto the street. That’s no way to treat any human being, let alone a decorated war veteran.”
Chicago’s Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorneys for Veterans
Levin & Perconti is one of the most widely known and respected nursing home abuse and neglect law firms in Illinois, serving veterans and their families who have been impacted by nursing home abuse, wrongful death, malpractice, or neglect. Our consultations are always free, confidential, and handled by one of our skilled attorneys.
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