Contact Keating Law Offices

Keating Law Offices, 111 West Washington Street, Suite 1631, Chicago, IL 60602
Direct: 312-239-6787 - Nights/Weekends: 312-208-7702 - Fax: 312-957-6898
Email: KLO Info

Friday, March 6, 2015

Keating Law Offices Files Lawsuit Against South Side Nursing Home For Fall After Resident Unnecessarily Drugged

The daughter of a former resident of a Chicago’s South Side nursing home has retained Keating Law Offices to investigate the negligence of the facility's medical and nursing staff. The former resident suffered a non-displaced left superior orbital wall fracture in her face after falling out of bed, despite nurses knowing the resident was a “fall risk.”

On September 10, 2013, the nursing home allegedly failed to respond to the resident’s bed alarm in a timely manner, allowing her to walk all the way to the opposite side of her room, where she then struck her head on a roommate’s bedrail. The resident was found lying unresponsive on the floor, away from her own bed. All of this took place before the nursing staff responded to the resident’s bed alarm.

Upon arrival of Chicago Fire Department paramedics that day in September 2013, it was discovered that the nursing home resident had been heavily sedated - unnecessarily - by the staff. The resident’s unresponsiveness was due to sedatives or pain killers allegedly administered by the nurses. As soon as the CFD paramedics administered two doses of an opioid antagonist, the resident became responsive and aware of her surroundings. An opioid antagonist is used by medical professionals to combat the effects of opiates, such as morphine.

According to Federal laws (Section 483.25 of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA) Regulations), which changed federal standards for nursing home care, every nursing home must provide the appropriate care and services to maintain resident physical, mental, and psychological well-being at the highest practicable level.

Nursing homes must also train nursing staff to identify and assist with residents who are at “high risk” for falling within the facility. If a resident’s chart indicates that he or she is a “fall risk,” a properly trained nurse can assist the resident with transfers to prevent falls and injury.  
  
Section 45/2-106.1 of the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act also states that “a resident shall not be given unnecessary drugs.” Under this Illinois law, “an ‘unnecessary drug’ is any drug used in an excessive dose, including in duplicative therapy; for excessive duration; without adequate monitoring; without adequate indications for its use; or in the presence of adverse consequences that indicate the drugs should be reduced or discontinued.”

All nursing homes have a duty to ensure that their residents do not receive unnecessary or excessive amounts of prescription drugs, particularly sedatives or opiates. The failure of a nursing home and its staff to prevent unnecessary sedation of residents may result in serious bodily injury or death.

If you believe that you or a loved one have been the victim of neglect due to improper or inadequate medical care by a nursing home, please contact an experienced Chicago nursing home neglect attorney to evaluate your case.

If you have any questions regarding this post or an issue involving Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect, please contact Illinois Nursing Home Attorney Mike Keating at 312-208-7702 or MKeating@KeatingLegal.com. All initial consultations are confidential and free.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Family of Nursing Home Resident Who Suffered Fractured Leg Receives Financial Settlement

The Chicago Nursing Home Attorneys at Keating Law Offices have successfully obtained a settlement on behalf of a former resident of a west suburban nursing home. The resident suffered a severe fracture in his femur while at the nursing home. The family of the resident suspected it was from a fall, but representatives of the nursing home denied that any incident ever occurred and even went so far as to claim the family may have been responsible for the fall. Our nursing home attorneys were able to uncover evidence in a lawsuit against the nursing home that conclusively showed that the injuries occurred on their watch.

The incident took place at a nursing home in the western suburbs of Illinois in August 2011. The claim alleged that the elderly resident was injured as a result of the nursing home’s failure to provide him with proper care. The lawsuit alleged that the leg injury actually occurred when nursing home staff members dropped him while transferring him onto a lift. As a result, the resident was hospitalized on two different occasions to treat the fracture as well as significant swelling in his left knee and leg.


It was also discovered that after the resident suffered this excruciating injury, the nursing home staff members then failed to provide him with his prescription pain medicine. This failure obviously led to unnecessary pain and suffering for the resident.

Under the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act (210 ILCS 45/1-101 (2011)) all nursing homes and other long-term care facilities are required to treat their residents with the same level of care that a reasonably careful nursing home or facility would have used in the same situation. When the nursing home fails to treat their residents with a reasonable amount of care, as the nursing home in this case was alleged to have done, it may be liable as was the situation here.

Additionally, when the nursing home staff fails to provide proper care to its residents which ultimately results in injuries sustained, the nursing home might be in violation of the applicable provisions of the Code of Federal Regulations and the Illinois Administrative Code. According to Section 3-601 of the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act, “the owner and licensee are liable to a resident for any intentional or negligent act or omission of their agents or employees which injures a resident.” 210 ILCS 45/3-601. The provision makes the nursing home liable for all negligent acts or omissions committed by its staff members because a reasonably well-qualified nursing staff member should be able to transfer its residents without causing injuries.

Under Section 1-117 of the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act, “neglect” means a facility’s failure to provide, or willful withholding of, adequate medical care, mental health treatment, psychiatric rehabilitation, personal care, or assistance with activities of daily living that is necessary to avoid physical harm, mental anguish, or mental illness of a resident. 210 ILCS 45/1-117. As alleged here, the nursing home staff members’ failure to provide a resident with pain medication falls within the definition of “neglect” because it can result in physical harm and mental anguish for said resident.

Ultimately, the nursing home negligence and abuse attorney at Keating Law Offices were able to present overwhelming evidence that the injury occurred at the nursing home and that the resident's pain and suffering was increased by the failures to administer the pain medication. Ultimately, justice was obtained for this victim of nursing home negligence and abuse.

Keating Law Offices has successfully obtained settlements on behalf of victims of nursing home abuse. Due to the terms of the settlement agreement between the resident and the nursing home, the identity of the parties and further details are confidential. If you or a loved one have suffered from a fractured leg or have had your medication improperly withheld in an Illinois nursing home, contact an experienced Chicago nursing home neglect attorney to evaluate your case.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Why Is Pneumonia Such a Common Sickness in Nursing Homes?

A family member or caretaker may not realize a loved one was neglected in an Illinois nursing home until after he or she has been transferred out of the nursing home. When your loved one is transferred out of a nursing home to a hospital sit down with the doctor and discuss the status of your loved one’s nursing home care. Frequently nursing home residents are transferred to the hospital for treatment of pneumonia. The unfortunate reality is that pneumonia may be the result of nursing home neglect.

In 2010, pneumonia, combined with influenza, was the 8th leading cause of death in the United Sates, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. The Centers for Disease Controls reports 1 out of 20 adults who get pneumonia dies. Addressing the underlying causes of pneumonia in the elderly a serious matter.

Pneumonia is frequently a symptom of inactivity. An injury from a fall or other physical neglect may result in limited or reduced mobility. Virtually every body system is affected by immobility. Immobility can worsen existing medical illnesses and lead to new ones such as circulatory problems including blood clots in the legs, further loss of strength, pressure ulcers, or pneumonia. Immobility as a result of poor nursing care or an injury decreases lung volume and weakens respiratory muscles thus making it easier for pneumonia to develop.

A nursing home must take steps to prevent injury and maximize resident’s physical activity to prevent pneumonia including: 

  • A nursing home should develop and implement a care plan that specifically addresses immobility. Progressive mobility and range-of-motion plans should be included;
  •  A nursing home should take all necessary steps to prevent falls and other mobility limiting injuries;
  • A nursing home should also document range-of-motion exercises and progressive mobility activities in the medical record. They should periodically summarize the results, noting the resident's overall progress and whether the resident is using assistive devices;
  • A nursing home resident should be on bedrest for the least amount of time possible;
  • Nursing home staff should encourage the resident to be as active as possible, whether it's turning over in bed or moving the wheels on his or her own wheelchair.
You may not know if your loved one was immobilized as a result of injury or neglect but you will see the symptoms including pneumonia. If your loved one is diagnosed with pneumonia after being transferred from an Illinois nursing home take action and contact an experienced Chicago nursing home neglect attorney to evaluate your case. 

If you have a question about this post, or any other issue related to Illinois personal injury law, please contact Illinois Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorneys at Keating Law Offices. You can contact Mike Keating directly by calling 312-208-7702 or emailing MKeating@KeatingLegal.com, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All phone calls and emails are returned promptly. All initial consultations are free and confidential.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Is A Hip Fracture a Sign of Nursing Home Neglect?

It is a tragic reality that it does not become clear that a loved one was neglected in an Illinois nursing home until after they are seriously injured. All too frequently nursing home residents are transferred to the hospital for treatment of a fractured hip. Hip fractures in a nursing home are almost always the result of some form of neglect.

Falls are common in nursing homes, with devastating consequences for residents and their loved ones. In particular, fall-related injuries including hip fractures are among the most serious health issues facing facilities and their patients. Hip fractures may result in hospitalizations, pneumonia, and sometimes death.

Hip fractures represent 40% of all serious fall-related injuries in nursing homes. On average each nursing home resident falls between 1 and 4 times per year. Patients with dementia experience falls at nearly double the rate of patients without cognitive impairment, averaging more than four falls per year. Furthermore, nearly 35% of fall related injuries occur in residents who are bed or wheelchair-bound.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between 16 to 27% of nursing home falls are a result on environmental hazards. Environmental hazards include poor lighting, slippery or wet floors, debris in walkways, and improper exit signs. Faulty bed rails and incorrect bed height accounts for close to 30 percent of nursing home falls nationwide.

A well-run and effective nursing home should be able to prevent the majority of these incidents. It is of the utmost importance for nursing home staff to be attentive at all times and respond to call lights, especially to patients who suffer from cognitive impairments. The nursing home had a duty to protect your loved one from falls.

If your loved suffered a fractured hip in an Illinois nursing home contact an experienced Chicago nursing home neglect attorney to evaluate your case.

If you have a question about this post, or any other issue related to Illinois personal injury law, please contact Illinois Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorneys at Keating Law Offices. You can contact Mike Keating directly by calling 312-208-7702 or emailing MKeating@KeatingLegal.com, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All phone calls and emails are returned promptly. All initial consultations are free and confidential.

Keating Law Offices Retained to Represent Family of Deceased Nursing Home Resident

The daughter of a former resident of a nursing home in Chicago's south suburbs has retained the law firm of Keating Law Offices to investigate her mother’s death. Her mother suffered a Stage IV sacral pressure ulcer resulting in a severe infection and death.

The Chicago Nursing Home Attorneys at Keating Law Offices are very familiar with the particular nursing home. “Our firm has successfully resolved several cases against this nursing home involving allegations of failure to prevent bed sores in recent years,” said Attorney Mike Keating.
 

All nursing home have a duty to implement interventions (actions for nursing staff to take) necessary to prevent pressure ulcers from developing and provide safe living conditions for each of its residents. Pressure sores are preventable. Proper nursing care can ensure residents do not sustain pressure ulcers. All too often, nursing staff fails to turn and reposition residents, provide proper mattresses, or provide nutrition necessary to prevent skin breakdown.

The failure to prevent and treat a pressure sore may result in fatal infection. In this case, the resident developed sepsis which ultimately lead to renal failure and death as a direct result of her large open pressure sore.

If your loved suffered a bed sore, injury, or death at a nursing home in Chicago, the suburbs, or elsewhere in Illinois please contact an experienced Chicago nursing home neglect attorney to evaluate your case.

If you have a question about this post, or any other issue related to Illinois personal injury law, please contact Illinois Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorneys at Keating Law Offices. You can contact Mike Keating directly by calling 312-208-7702 or emailing MKeating@KeatingLegal.com, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All phone calls and emails are returned promptly. All initial consultations are free and confidential.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Keating Law Offices Attorneys Named to "SuperLawyers" List of "Rising Stars"

Illinois Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorneys Michael S. Keating and Alexander Loftus of Keating Law Offices, P.C. in Chicago, Illinois have been named to SuperLawyers Magazine's annual list of "Rising Stars." Each year, no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in the state receive this honor. The selection for this respected list is made by the research team at Super Lawyers. Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business, is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. 

The annual selections are made using a rigorous multi--phased process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates, and peer reviews by practice area. The list will be published in the annual edition of Illinois SuperLawyers Magazine and in the February 2014 edition of Chicago Magazine.

Michael S. Keating was previously included in the “Rising Stars” list in 2011, 2012, and 2013. Alexander Loftus was including in the “Rising Stars” list for the first time last year. The Keating Law Offices attorneys were nominated by fellow attorneys and that nomination was reviewed by an attorney-led research team that reviews the credentials of potential candidates and assigns points based on a set of defined evaluation criteria. The point totals from the general survey and research process are then added to arrive at a final tally.

Keating Law Offices concentrates its practice on nursing home negligence and abuse cases as well as other personal injury and wrongful death cases stemming from transportation negligence, medical malpractice, premises liability and product liability. The firm has successfully represented nursing home residents and their families


Keating Law Offices, P.C. may be found on the internet at www.KeatingLegal.com. The firm is located at 79 West Monroe, Suite 1024 in Chicago, Illinois. Phone: 312-239-6787. Email: Info@KeatingLegal.com.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Illinois Law Provides That Illinois Nursing Homes Can Be Responsible for Assaults Committed By Other Residents

All Illinois nursing homes have a duty to protect residents from each other. Many nursing home residents suffer dementia and other forms of mental illness that may result in violent outbursts. All too frequently, nursing home residents with mental illness are housed in close quarters and not properly supervised. The failure to properly supervise mentally ill residents may result in serious physical and emotional injury to the other residents. Under Illinois law, the nursing home is responsible for harm caused by unsupervised residents.
 

In Illinois, nursing home residents are protected under the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act. All long-term care facilities are required to comply with the Act. According to the Act (210 ILCS 45/1 113), a “long term care facility” is defined as a “private home, institution, building, residence, or any other place, whether operated for profit or not, or a county home for the infirm and chronically ill...which provides, through its ownership or management… nursing for 3 or more persons.”

The Nursing Home Care Act defines the minimum standards for nursing homes in Illinois including a patient’s right to be free from abuse and neglect. The Act defines “Abuse” as “any physical or mental injury or sexual assault inflicted on a resident other than by accidental means in a facility.” 210 ILCS 45/1-103. The Act defines “Neglect” as “a facility’s failure to provide, or willful withholding of, adequate medical care, mental health treatment, psychiatric rehabilitation, personal care, or assistance with activities of daily living that is necessary to avoid physical harm mental anguish or mental illness of a resident.” 210 ILCS 45/1-117.
 

The nursing home is accountable for the actions of its unsupervised residents. Injuries resulting from an attack by another unsupervised resident are a symptom of neglect just like a bed sore or malnutrition. The Nursing Home Care Act holds long term care facilities accountable for neglecting to adequately supervise dangerous residents.

If you have a question about this post, or any other issue related to Illinois personal injury law, please contact Illinois Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorneys at Keating Law Offices. You can contact Mike Keating directly by calling 312-208-7702 or emailing MKeating@KeatingLegal.com, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All phone calls and emails are returned promptly. All initial consultations are free and confidential.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Former Chicago Bear Great Dies Tragically In Nursing Home After Poisoning

Former Chicago Bears Running Back, George McAfee, is most known for his celebrated professional football career. George was drafted in the first round by the Bears. In his eight seasons in Chicago, George was a four time NFL Champion and was named the NFL punt return champion, landing him a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1966. Following the end of his celebrated career, George unfortunately entered the national spotlight again more than thirty years later for an entire different reason. 
In a case that garnered national attention, George's family settled out of court with Emeritus Corporation after George drank industrial strength cleaning detergent while left unsupervised in an assisted living facility and died ten days later. George's death drew national attention to the world of for-profit assisted living facilities and shed light on the potential dangers of placing a loved one in a loosely regulated facility. 
In the years prior to his death, George suffered from dementia. Because he was not in poor physical health, his family jumped on the opportunity for George to reside at Cypress Gardens, an Emeritus assisted living facility in Atlanta, Georgia for a fee of $4,000 per month. Despite the cost, his family was happy to have him in a home-like environment, which was a stark contrast to the sterile feel of most nursing homes. 
George's situation is becoming more common, in that there is a growing population of elderly individuals who are in good physical shape but suffer from memory issues including dementia and Alzheimer's disease. As such, "memory units" are becoming increasingly popular in profit-based assisted living facilities for the exact reasons that George McAfee's family chose Cypress Gardens, in that they provide a transitory step for elderly residents who need assistance but who do not require full time skilled nursing care. 
Unfortunately, many families choosing assisted living facilities are not aware that they are often for-profit facilities that do not receive federal funding and are therefore not subject to federal regulations. In addition, workers receive minimum wage, get limited training, and are often subject to inadequate staffing ratios. These issues appear to have factored into George McAfee's death, as facility records revealed that the wing where George found and consumed the cleaning fluid was unstaffed for a half an hour and the cabinet containing the fluid was left unlocked, contrary to protocol. 
Looking back, George McAfee's daughter Mary Jeanne Stouffer wishes they would have done their "homework" before picking a facility but admitted that it didn't cross their mind to need to double check the reputation of the facility . In addition Stouffer advised that adult children need to advocate for their parents. 
There are certainly several lessons to be learned from George McAfee's tragic death. At Keating Law Offices, we routinely advocate on behalf of clients who have been seriously injured or even died as a result of negligent care at a nursing home or assisted living facility. As George McAfee's family suggests, it is very important to thoroughly research a long term care facility's record before selecting a facility for a loved one. 
If you have a question about this post, or any other issue related to Illinois Nursing Home Negligence and Abuse Law, please contact Mike Keating at Keating Law Offices by calling 312-208-7702 or emailing MKeating@KeatingLegal.com, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All phone calls and emails are returned promptly. All initial consultations are free and confidential.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

IDPH Charges Champaign County Nursing Home With Several Violations

Recent investigations of the Champaign County Nursing Home in Urbana, Illinois revealed that the facility has committed numerous, ongoing health code violations. In specific, both the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District have discovered a number of issues in the facility related to sanitation, food storage, and resident diet during the time period from January of 2012 to April of 2013.
Perhaps the most surprising of the violations relates to the food served to the residents in the facility. On multiple occasions, investigations revealed the facility served residents food containing small pieces of plastic or cardboard. In the most severe instance, the "fingertip to knuckle" portion of a plastic glove was discovered in meat served to a resident. The wife of a resident who received food with cardboard in it reported that the facility has served her husband food containing foreign objects on a number of occasions.
With respect to sanitation, a December 12, 2012 inspection revealed soiled interior oven racks and a soiled can opener blade in the facility's kitchen. In addition, inspectors discovered that a water heater was not operating properly. As a result, water in the dishwasher failed to reach 180 degrees which is necessary to properly sanitize the residents' dishes. Regarding food storage, an April 11, 2013 inspection revealed that the facility maintained a walk-in cooler at a temperature above 41 degrees, rendering it too warm for safe food storage. In addition, a number of dry storage racks were soiled and dirty.
Inspections also revealed a number of violations related to residents' diets. On numerous occasions, the facility failed to serve residents items listed on the the daily menu or provided residents with only a partial serving of a menu item. In addition, the facility failed to provide "health shakes" between meals to a seriously ill patient who had suffered an 8 percent body weight loss in a single month and also failed to provide the patient with full servings of a lunch menu item.
The Champaign County Nursing Home's health violations are incredibly dangerous to its residents and expose its residents to a number potential health threats. Many nursing home residents are already in a compromised state of health when they enter a nursing facility. When a nursing home agrees to house an elderly resident, it also agrees to avoid unnecessarily harming the resident. When unnecessary harm occurs as a result of issues such as the health violations committed by the Champaign County Nursing Home, the facility may be responsible for the harm resulting to its residents. The Attorneys at Keating Law Offices have represented a number of nursing home residents who have been injured or harmed as a result of improper nursing home care. 
If you have a question about this post, or any other issue related to Illinois personal injury law, please contact Mike Keating at Keating Law Offices by calling 312-208-7702 or emailing MKeating@KeatingLegal.com, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All phone calls and emails are returned promptly. All initial consultations are free and confidential.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

New Illinois Law Increases Access to Nursing Care Services

The Illinois Legislature recently adopted a law sponsored by State Representative Sara Feigenholtz of Chicago aimed at increasing home care services for senior citizens who might otherwise needlessly be placed in residential nursing homes. Illinois's Community Care Program (CCP) currently provides home-based services to approximately 85,000 elderly Illinois residents. According to the Lincoln Park Patch, the reforms focus on "implementing inter-agency data sharing, shifting to a managed care model for some seniors, applying for enhanced federal matching funds, improving Medicaid enrollment and processing, freezing rates at exiting levels, and implementing more stringent personnel policies."
The primary purpose of the new law is to provide the most cost-effective services to the greatest number of Illinois's elderly residents as possible.  Representative Feigenholtz explained, "Home care for senior citizens is one of the most cost-effective programs in the state of Illinois . . . . [T]he state can provide CCP for four seniors at the same cost of caring for one person in a nursing home."
Illinois Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorney Michael Keating supports the Illinois Legislature's efforts to avoid placing senior citizens into residential nursing homes before such intensive care is reasonably required. Home health care has the obvious benefit of allowing individuals who are able to participate in their own care to do so in the comfort and familiarity of their own home, while also preventing individuals who require nursing home care from dealing with the burdens of overcrowding. As a nursing home's population increases, the quality of care provided to each individual resident almost inevitably decreases. In extreme cases, overcrowding and inadequate staffing can result in the neglect, or even abuse, of nursing home residents. Therefore, increasing the availability of home health care is not only cost effective but also increases the quality of care provided to elderly individuals living independently and in nursing homes.
If you have a question about this post, or any other issue related to Illinois personal injury law, please contact Mike Keating at Keating Law Offices by calling 312-208-7702 or emailing MKeating@KeatingLegal.com, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All phone calls and emails are returned promptly. All initial consultations are free and confidential.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Could Medicaid Funding Cuts Lead to More Cases of Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse?


Recent Medicaid cuts affecting nursing home recipients have restricted access to dental, vision, and podiatry care. For instance, routine dental services are generally no longer covered by Medicaid. Instead, Medicaid recipients usually only receive emergency dental services. Without Medicaid funding, nursing homes must attempt to provide these vital services to their residents privately, rely on financial help from residents' family members, or neglect their residents' medical needs. This raises a troubling issue: If resources at nursing homes are even further depleted, could this lead to even more cases of nursing home abuse and neglect?
A group in Chicago hopes that question doesn't have to be answered. An estimated 300 nursing home supporters gathered at the Thompson Center to protest existing and potential future cuts in Medicaid funding affecting a number of elderly nursing home residents. Pam Comstock, the executive director of the Health Care Council of Illinois who explained, "Our seniors are elderly and sick and they can't get in their cars and go to Springfield or come down to [the] Thompson Center to talk to anybody, so that's why we're joining our voices to give them a voice." Staff members of several Chicago area nursing homes attended the protest. 
In addition, protesters asserted that the state has failed to properly reimburse Illinois nursing homes for Medicaid services already provided to nursing home residents. Demonstrators estimated that the state owes Illinois nursing homes approximately $400 million for previously provided Medicaid services, while the state estimates that this amount is closer to $210 million. Regardless of the specific amount owed, it is clear that Illinois nursing home are not receiving the funding they are owed for services their residents are entitled to under Medicaid coverage.
This combination of recent Medicaid funding cuts, potential future Medicaid funding cuts, and significant outstanding reimbursements renders it unlikely that Medicaid recipients living in nursing homes are receiving proper and adequate care. In addition, the inevitable financial strain on nursing homes created by these circumstances likely affects the quality of care provided to all nursing home residents, as nursing homes attempt to budget around Medicaid's shortcomings. In the most extreme of circumstances, underfunded nursing home care may result in staffing deficits which lead to the neglect, or even abuse, of nursing home residents.
If you have a question about this post, or any other issue related to Illinois personal injury law, please contact Illinois Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorney Mike Keating. You can contact Mike by calling 312-208-7702 or emailing MKeating@KeatingLegal.com, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All phone calls and emails are returned promptly. All initial consultations are free and confidential.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Attorney Michael S. Keating Honored by "SuperLawyers" and "Chicago" Magazines

For the third straight year, Attorney Michael S. Keating of Keating Law Offices, P.C. in Chicago, Illinois has been named to SuperLawyers Magazine's annual list of "Rising Stars."

Mr. Keating was previously named a "Rising Star" in 2011 and 2012. Only 2.5% of the Lawyers in the State of Illinois are named to this list which will be published in the annual edition of Illinois SuperLawyers Magazine and in the February 2013 edition of Chicago Magazine. Mr. Keating has also been named to the "40 Under 40" list of top young trial attorneys in Illinois by the National Trial Lawyers Association.

Mr. Keating was nominated by fellow attorneys and that nomination was reviewed by an attorney-led research team that reviews the credentials of potential candidates and assigns points based on a set of defined evaluation criteria. The point totals from the general survey and research process are then added to arrive at a final tally.

Mr. Keating practices with the Chicago-based firm of Keating Law Offices, P.C. which he founded in 2008. The firm concentrates its practice on personal injury and wrongful death cases stemming from transportation negligence, nursing home negligence and abuse, medical malpractice, premises liability and product liability. Keating Law Offices, P.C. may be found on the internet at www.KeatingLegal.com. The firm is located at 79 West Monroe, Suite 1024 in Chicago, Illinois. Phone: 312-239-6787.

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Annual Inspection Process of Illinois Nursing Homes

Deciding that a family member or loved one would be better off living in a nursing home or other type of long-term care facility is a difficult process. When you entrust your loved one to the care of a nursing home or long-term care facility you expect that they will be treated with respect and dignity in a safe environment. Lots of careful research goes into selecting the facility or home that will best serve the health, physical and emotional needs of your loved one.

Unfortunately, there are some facilities that continue to violate their legal and ethical duties to take care of their residents. The state of Illinois has many safeguards in place to protect the rights of residents and patients of long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes. All Illinois nursing homes must be properly licensed and certified to remain in operation. One of the most important tools in protecting residents is the annual inspection process that all Illinois long-term care facilities must pass in order to maintain their license. Both these inspections and the licensing process as a whole provide an important opportunity for concerned family members, and residents themselves, to bring attention to any problems in a facility or nursing home. Problems may include unsafe physical conditions, substandard medical treatment, or specific incidents or abuse or neglect towards residents.

The annual inspections of Illinois nursing homes and other long-term care facilities are conducted by trained teams of health care professionals from the Illinois Department of Public Health. The purpose of the inspections is to make sure that the facilities are in compliance with all applicable Illinois and federal laws. Facility compliance with these laws also makes it less likely that residents will be the victims of abuse or neglect while living there. The inspections are unannounced and facilities are given no warning so that they cannot attempt to hide or suddenly fix any problems. The inspectors stay in the facility for three to four days and gain a feeling of what the facility's environment is like for residents on a day-to-day basis.There are specific rights that residents, and residents' family members, have during the annual inspection process. The Illinois Department on Aging has the following tips and information for how concerned residents and family members can report suspected nursing home violations to the proper authorities and information on their rights during these inspections:
  1.  If you, or a family member, have concerns about how you are being treated by a nursing home, keep written notes. These notes can be shared with facility inspectors and can be used to identify problems and areas of concern within a facility.
  2. Residents, and their relatives, can request private meetings with inspectors. This can be a confidential and safe way to convey concerns to the inspectors without having to worry about "problems" or retaliation from the facility or its staff.
  3. All facilities are required to display their annual inspection results and to make copies of the previous five years' reports available upon request.
  4. You do not have to wait for the annual inspection to report nursing home abuse or neglect. If you, or a relative, has been the victim of abuse or neglect in an Illinois nursing home or long-term care facility you can go to Illinois' website for reporting abuse here.
If you, or a relative, have been the victim of abuse or neglect in an Illinois nursing home you may be entitled to bring a claim against the facility. The attorneys of Keating Law Offices have successfully represented victims of nursing home abuse and neglect. If you have any questions about this post, or any issue about Illinois personal injury law, please contact Illinois Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorney Mike Keating. You can reach him 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling 312-208-7702 or emailing him at MKeating@KeatingLegal.com. All emails and phone calls are returned promptly. All initial consultations are confidential and free.

5 Key Rights of Nursing Home Residents in Illinois

Hearing about a "nursing home" usually brings to mind a vision of a retirement community where senior citizens can live in a relaxing group environment. In an ideal nursing home there is plenty of socializing amongst residents and the staff is always available to assist with basic medical needs and the tasks of everyday living.

Despite the phrase "Nursing Home" in its title, Illinois' Nursing Home Care Act (210 ILCS 45) actually protects residents and patients of all types of intermediate and long-term care facilities in Illinois. The rules and obligations in the Nursing Home Care Act apply to any facility which houses three or more people who are receiving "personal or medical care, including but not limited to mental health treatment, psychiatric rehabilitation, physical rehabilitation, and assistance with activities of daily living." (210 ILCS 45/1-113 and 1-122). Whether due to a relative's aging-related decline in health, a developmental disability or rehabilitation from an injury or illness, more families than ever rely on these types of facilities to provide a home and care for their family members.

The Illinois Nursing Home Care Act, along with similar federal laws regulating nursing homes (42 CFR 483), provides fundamental protections that ensure residents are attentively treated with the dignity and respect that we would all want our family members and loved ones to be shown. The ultimate goal of these laws it so prevent residents from becoming victims of harmful abuse or neglect while living and receiving assistance in a long-term care facility. If you, or a family member, are a resident of a long-term care facility is it important that you know all of your rights. While some of the duties of intermediate and long-term care facilities are fairly obvious you may not be aware of all of your basic rights. If your family member or loved one has been denied any of these rights while residing in an Illinois nursing home or long-term care facility you may have a legal claim against the facility. The attorneys of Keating Law Offices have successfully helped victims of nursing home abuse and neglect. We have the experience to help you if you too have been harmed while residing in a long-term care facility. 

5 Rights of Residents of Illinois Nursing Homes and Long-Term Care Facilities
1. Freedom from all types of abuse and neglect, including any type of physical, mental or emotional harm.
2. Protection from abuse or harm committed by fellow residents.
3. Timely medical treatment and hygienic care, including any necessary follow-up care.
4. A safe environment free from dangerous physical conditions or obstacles.
5. Access to daily activities - it is against the law for residents to be kept isolated without cause.

If you have a question about this post, or any other issue related to Illinois personal injury law, please contact Illinois Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorney Mike Keating. You can contact Mike by calling 312-208-7702 or emailing MKeating@KeatingLegal.com, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All phone calls and emails are returned promptly. All initial consultations are free and confidential.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Nursing Home Neglect Case Settled for Chicago Resident

The attorneys of Keating Law Offices have successfully obtained a settlement on behalf of a client who was the alleged victim of neglect by a Chicago-area nursing home in which he was a resident. The incident took place at a nursing home on the Far North Side of Chicago in February 2011. The claim alleged that the elderly resident was injured as a result of the nursing home’s failure to provide him with proper medical treatment. It was alleged that the nursing home staff members injured the resident when they improperly treated him for an existing illness. This injury caused the resident’s condition to rapidly worsen, causing him severe pain and suffering.

An Illinois nursing home that fails to provide adequate medical treatment to an injured or ill resident is in violation of both Illinois and federal laws. Under the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act (210 ILCS 45/1-101 (2011)) all nursing homes and other long-term care facilities are required to treat their residents with the same level of care that a reasonably careful nursing home or facility would have used in the same situation. Any treatment given must not only be medically appropriate but also must be given in a timely manner. When a nursing home denies proper medical treatment to a sick or injured resident, as the nursing home in this case was alleged to have done, it may be liable.

The attorneys of Keating Law Offices are committed to protecting the rights of residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities in Illinois. Our firm has successfully represented victims of nursing home abuse and neglect. If you believe that you or a loved one have been the victim of neglect due to improper or inadequate medical care by a nursing home, please contact our firm. Pursuant to the terms of this settlement agreement, the identity of the parties, the name of the nursing home, and the amount of the settlement are strictly confidential and no further details may be disclosed.

If you have any questions regarding this post, or any issue involving Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect, please contact Illinois Nursing Attorney Mike Keating — by calling 312-239-6787  312-208-7702 (Nights/Weekends) or emailing him at MKeating@KeatingLegal.com — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All emails and phone calls are returned promptly. All initial consultations are confidential and free.