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, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All phone calls and emails are returned promptly. All initial consultations are free and confidential.