Thursday, May 5, 2022

Keating Law Wins $743,500.00 Settlement for Nursing Home Resident

In 2016 a Chicago woman was admitted into a Chicago nursing home after she had to undergo emergency brain surgery to remove a tumor. Soon after she was admitted to the nursing home she experienced pain in her left leg and told the nursing staff at the nursing home about it. For two weeks the staff at the nursing home heard her complaints but did not notify her doctor about the problems with her leg. Finally, her doctor was called and an exam of her leg was ordered that found that she had severe vascular issues that led to the leg contracting gangrene. Due to this, surgeons had to perform an above-the-knee amputation of her left leg to stop the spread of the gangrene.

Keating Law filed a lawsuit on behalf of the nursing home resident and after five years of litigation recently secured a $743,500.00 settlement for the nursing home resident. The team at Keating Law Offices claimed that the delayed response to complaints of pain and a failure to notify our client’s physician led her losing any chance of saving the leg due to the two week delay. 

The Nursing Home's Defense

The case was vigorously defended by the nursing home who hired multiple experts to testify against the plaintiff and try to argue that the plaintiff was already too sick to ever recover. The nursing home attorneys and hired doctors said that the situation was very sad, but that the leg was already too injured from the pre-existing vascular disease to do anything about it. The nursing home claimed that the problems with her leg were inevitable given her medical history. 

Keating Law Offices did not give up in the face of such a strong defense.  Instead, part of the success of this recovery for our client was Keating Law Office’s application of the web of rules and regulation that nursing homes in Illinois must follow. Under the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act, for instance, nursing homes are prohibited by law from neglecting their residents. “Neglect” means a facility’s failure to provide adequate medical care, psychiatric rehabilitation, personal care, or assistance with activities of daily living necessary to avoid physical harm and mental anguish of a resident.

Nursing Home Laws

Other laws, like the Illinois Administrative Code, are also important. Under the Code, nursing homes are required to provide necessary care and services to maintain the highest practicable physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being of a resident. In doing so, the nursing home must conduct comprehensive assessments of the resident, develop an appropriate plan of care, and follow that plan.

Even federal regulations impact nursing homes when that nursing home accepts federal benefits like Medicare. The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA), also known as the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987, is a prime example. OBRA requires nursing homes to provide comprehensive assessments of a particular resident’s needs and to notify a resident’s physician of significant changes in medical conditions.

Nursing Home Negligence Settlement

In obtaining Keating Law’s recent settlement of $743,500.00, attorneys Tom Reuland and Mike Keating used these and other laws to hold the nursing home accountable for ignoring our client’s symptoms and not notifying her physician in time to help her. We will continue to advocate for our clients who have been abused or neglected by nursing homes throughout Illinois. We will also continue to advocate and support laws and regulation that help keep nursing homes accountable and safe for their residents