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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, July 15, 2011

Maryhaven of Glenview Nursing Home Resident Dies from Assault

It has been reported that 86-year old Mercedes Iverson, who was a resident at Maryhavevn Nursing and Rehabilitation in Glenview, died on July 14, 2011 as a result of homicide. Ms. Iverson's death was originally reported as a result of a fall, but an autopsy concluded that Ms. Iverson's death was actually caused by a physical assault from another person. The reports do not indicate any suspects in the homicide, but it appears that Ms. Iverson died while a resident at Maryhaven.

A nursing home has a duty under the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act to provide services and supervision to keep its residents safe. This includes keeping residents safe from other residents as well as making sure no employees or staff members cause harm to a resident. Any nursing home that fails to meet these basic requirements may ultimately be found liable in a civil action against the home and be subject to investigation by the Illinois Department of Public Health.

The nursing home negligence and abuse attorneys at Keating Law Offices, P.C. are saddened whenever there is another incident like this in the Chicago area. This is why we tirelessly work to seek justice for the families of victims of abuse in nursing homes. 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.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Pekin Nursing Home Resident Dies in Fire

The Associated Press is reporting that 68-year-old Barbara Harris of Pekin died Wednesday at a Springfield hospital as a result of injuries she suffered in a fire at the UAW Senior Citizens Center. Harris was badly burned in the blaze. According to the reports, fire officials say Harris fell asleep while smoking in a chair in her room at the UAW Senior Citizens Center. Ms. Harris was using an oxygen tank at the time of the incident, and the oxygen accelerated the flames.

Similar cases have occurred in the past. The news reports due to address how long the fire was present prior to being discovered and does not address any of the circumstances as to how or why Ms. Harris was smoking in her room at the nursing home. In many nursing homes smoking is not permitted on the premises. It is unknown if the UAW Senior Citizens Center permitted smoking.

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.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

KLO Settles Case on Behalf of Estate of Nursing Home Resident

Keating Law Offices has successfully resolved a lawsuit filed on behalf of a Chicago family whose mother died of sepsis. The lawsuit alleged that the sepsis was contracted in the nursing home. The resident was admitted to a South Side nursing home for treatment of cellulitis in her left leg. The plan on admission was for the resident to receive care for approximately two weeks and then be released from the facility. At the time the resident was a 50-year old lady who worked in the health care field and by all accounts was relatively active.

The nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at Keating Law Offices were able to demonstrate that the resident most likely did not receive the nursing care she required from the nursing home and her condition rapidly declined. By the time the resident was discharged from the facility six weeks after her admission the cellulitis had worsened and pressure ulcers had developed in other areas of her body as her condition declined. Most significantly, she contracted multiple resistant organisms which led to the sepsis that caused her death.

Keating Law Offices, P.C., representing the estate of the nursing home resident, alleged that the nursing staff at the nursing home had the primary responsibilities of basic wound care, monitoring the resident's condition, and communicating with her physicians. It was further alleged that it was the violation of the duty to meet these responsibilities that led to the resident's original leg wounds worsening and for her to develop additional pressure ulcers.

The parties reached a financial settlement at a mediation prior to the matter being set for trial. At the beginning of litigation the attorneys for the nursing home were insistent that the nursing home did absolutely nothing wrong and the death of the resident was just an unfortunate outcome. In the course of litigation it became clear that the case was much more complicated and the nursing home may have played a large part in the death of the resident.

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.

Illinois Legislators Pass Bills to Fight Infections in Nursing Homes

Illinois' state capital of Springfield is always busy this time of the year as the spring legislative sessions comes to a close. If a legislator's bill has a chance of becoming a law it is often "now or never." Fortunately, Illinois legislators have passed to bills that are a part of efforts to make nursing homes and other long-term care facilities accountable for infections. 

House Bill 1096 amends the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act. The bill provides that a skilled nursing facility must designate an employee as an "Infection Prevention and Control Professional" to develop and implement policies governing control of infections and communicable diseases. The bill also provides that the Infection Prevention and Control Professional's qualifications shall be documented and made available for inspection by the Department of Public Health to ensure that an appropriate person is, in fact, doing this job in the nursing home. If this bill is signed by Gov. Quinn it would become effective on January 1, 2012.

House Bill 1658 amends the Vital Records Act to require the doctor completing the medical certification of cause of death for a death certificate must note the presence of the cause of common infections found in nursing homes on the death certificate. These bacteria include methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), clostridium difficile, or vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) if it is a contributing factor to or the cause of death. The bill also provides that additional multi-drug resistant organisms (MDROs) may be added to the list by the Illinois Department of Public Health. 

Currently, many doctors often put the primary cause of death on the death certificate. A common example of this is when a doctor lists sepsis as the cause of death but does not list the cause of the sepsis. Sepsis occurs when bacteria enters the body and spreads into the bloodstream. Infections from bacteria typically start out on the skin of a nursing home resident before entering the bloodstream through an open wound on the skin. Sepsis requires immediate treatment with progressive antibiotic treatment in a hospital setting. House Bill 1658 would make sure that the secondary or contributing cause, in the case of sepsis the bacteria or "bug" that caused the sepsis, is also put on the death certificate. This way the cause of sepsis could be tracked. 

The nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at Keating Law Offices have experience handling cases stemming from infections contracted in a nursing home or other long-term care setting. 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.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

27-Year Old Quadripalegic Would Rather Die Than Spend His Remaining Days in a Nursing Home

The Chicago Tribune has reported on a very sad story involving 27-year old Dan Crews of Antioch, who has publicly stated he would rather have his life end than spend his remaining days in a nursing home. Mr. Crews has been paralyzed since the age of 3 when he was involved in a motor vehicle collision and the child safety seat in which he was secured allegedly did not protect him adequately. His family obtained a financial settlement from the corporation responsible for this accident. That settlement has since allowed Mr. Crews to receive nursing care and to live in his own home with family.

However, Mr. Crews has surpassed all expectations for the length of his life and the settlement funds have dwindled to the point where he risks losing his home and not being able to pay for necessary nursing care. Mr. Crews potentially faces having to move to a nursing home. It speaks volumes about the unfortunate instances of abuse and neglect that occurs in many Illinois nursing homes that Mr. Crews would rather have his life end than spend the rest of his life in a nursing home. Mr. Crews obviously fears that he would be another "statistic" and be subjected to nursing home abuse and neglect.

Nursing home abuse and neglect is inexcusable whether the resident be young or old. It is inexcusable if the resident can take care of most of their activities of daily living (ADLs) or if they need assistance with all of the activities of daily living. It is inexcusable if the resident can ambulate on their own or if they need assistance with ambulation.

The Illinois Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Attorneys at Keating Law Offices, P.C. are committed to representing victims and their families. It is the firm's strong belief that active prosecution of nursing home abuse and neglect case, both criminally and civilly, is part of the solution to ending the tragic frequency with which abuse and neglect occur in Illinois nursing homes.

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.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

More Residents Die at Alden Village North

The Chicago Tribune is reporting that five more death from allegedly substandard care have occurred at Alden Village North. This facility is already slated to be closed by State of Illinois' Department of Public Health. The article quotes Deborah Kennedy, of the watchdog group Equip for Equality as saying, "What we're seeing (at Alden Village North) is a culture within a nursing home that tolerated lackadaisical, substandard care for years."

An investigation by Equip for Equality found that in many instances poor care directly led to the untimely death of a resident and in other instances the poor care led to an earlier death than may have otherwise occurred. In any event, this lack of basic care as detailed by Equip for Equality is morally and legally wrong.

The Illinois Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect attorneys at Keating Law Offices, P.C. have handled numerous cases against various Alden facilities. The Illinois Nursing Home Care Act allows an adult resident of a nursing home or their family to pursue a civil lawsuit against a nursing home for any negligence by the facility or its staff that results in an injury or death. Under the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act, the nursing home is liable for damages from the injury or death.

The report details the death of one girl who was found to have a treatable infection. Despite the diagnosis of the infection, the girl was first not given appropriate antibiotics and then once the proper antibiotics were prescribed, there was an additional delay in the administering of the antibiotics. The girl later died as a consequence of the infection. This is an unfortunate example of a failure of the nursing staff and the girl's physician to work together as a team and to give the girl the appropriate medication she needed. According to the report, it was the failure of the nursing staff and her doctor that led to the girl's death.

In December of 2010, officials at Alden Village North claimed that they were making significant improvements to the facility. At that time 13 children had died at the facility. Keating Law Offices wrote on this matter on www.ILNursingHomeAttorney.com in a post that can be found by clicking here.

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.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Nursing Home Resident Wanders from NH and is Killed by Car

The Chicago Tribune is reporting on a story of an 80-year old man who was killed by a motor vehicle after he wandered from the nursing home where he is a resident. 

Nursing Homes have a responsibility to assess all of their residents for their risk of wandering or for being a "flight risk." The assessment should be done by the nursing home staff on a continuing basis and to provide interventions to keep the resident from wandering or fleeing. Many residents wander or flee because they suffer from dementia or other conditions that lead to confusion. Common interventions to stop flight risks are alarms, extra supervision, and secured doors into and out of the facility.

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.