Articles Posted in Nursing Home Negligence

Nursing home facilities have several duties and obligations when it comes to ensuring that our elderly loved ones are safe and that they have the care they need. All too often, a nursing home fails to supervise its staff, provide adequate medical care, or ensure that patients and residents are being monitored appropriately. When this happens, residents can face serious injuries and even death. If you or a loved one suffered injuries due to a nursing home’s negligence, contact Therman Law Offices to learn more about whether one of our Chicago nursing home abuse lawyers can assist you.

Recently, a plaintiff who was the guardian of the estate of a woman who passed away filed a case against a nursing home facility alleging violations of the Nursing Home Care Act. The defendants responded to the lawsuit by filing a motion to dismiss and arguing that the resident had signed an arbitration agreement. This document stated that any disputes regarding the care that the facility provides would be solved in an arbitration proceeding.

It also stated that the resident waived her right to pursue legal action against the facility in civil court. An arbitration is similar to a trial because the outcome is legally binding, but it is different in that it is more informal than a trial. There is no jury and the parties agree that one or a number of arbitrators can make a decision about the legal outcome of the dispute.

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When we admit a loved one to a nursing home facility, we trust that they will receive appropriate care and support. Finding out that a nursing home failed to take good care of your relative and caused them to suffer harm can be devastating and traumatic. One option that may be available to you and your family is pursuing compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. A lawyer can assist you with reviewing your situation to see whether the nursing home that was responsible for your loved one’s well-being is financially liable for the expenses associated with their injuries or untimely death. Contact Therman Law Offices today to learn more about working with a Chicago nursing home abuse lawyer.

In a recent case, the plaintiff alleged that his legally disabled relative was a resident at a county-owned nursing home in De Kalb county and that the nursing home facility failed to provide her with adequate care under the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act. More specifically, the complaint stated that the facility knew or should have known that the resident was at high risk for developing pressure sores and that they neglected to care for her in this capacity. The plaintiff alleged that the facility was negligent in failing to create a schedule for turning and repositioning his relative to prevent the sores from developing.

The county moved to dismiss the complaint, arguing that the state’s Tort Immunity Act took precedence over the Nursing Home Care Act. When a government entity is sued for negligence in Illinois, there are special rules that a plaintiff must follow that are different from a regular personal injury case. Under the Tort Immunity Act, there are certain situations in which a government entity cannot be held liable for negligence, for example. The county pointed to several provisions in the Tort Immunity Act to argue that the employees at the nursing home facility could not hold a public employee liable when the public employee was acting within the course and scope of their employment.

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Few things are more painful than learning that your loved one suffered abuse and neglect while in a care facility, especially if it leads to his or her unfortunate death. The compassionate and responsive Chicago nursing home abuse lawyers at Therman Law Offices are available to discuss your potential claim against the care facility and/or individuals who are responsible for your loved one’s harm. Although no amount of money can truly make your family whole again after an unnecessary and avoidable loss, it can help ease the financial burden associated with the situation. Contact us today to learn more about your rights and potential options.

In a recent case, the estate of a woman who died at a nursing home as a resident brought a claim against the facility alleging that the operators of the facility were negligent in causing her death and also caused her to suffer before her passing. More specifically, the estate alleged that the facility failed to provide appropriate care and that this resulted in a broken hip.

The defendant responded to the case by filing a motion to dismiss and compel arbitration of the dispute and attached a copy of the voluntary arbitration agreement that the decedent signed when she was admitted. The estate argued that the woman did not have the appropriate mental capacity to enter into the agreement when she signed it. The court rejected this argument and entered an order compelling arbitration of some of the claims in the case. It stayed the wrongful death claim until the arbitration was completed.

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A common issue that arises in claims involving nursing homes and other care facilities is whether an arbitration agreement is enforceable. As Chicago nursing home negligence lawyers, we have seen firsthand how an arbitration agreement’s applicability can cause serious confusion and headaches for a family who has endured the loss of their loved one due to a facility’s negligence. At Therman Law Offices, we are prepared to help you determine whether you are entitled to compensation and explore the best route for asserting your rights against the nursing home that is responsible for the harm.

Recently, the Illinois Court of Appeal decided a case involving a dispute regarding an arbitration agreement and its enforceability. A woman died while in the care of a nursing home facility, and her estate brought a claim against the facility, claiming negligence and wrongful death. The defendants responded to the action by filing a motion to compel arbitration and seeking dismissal of the civil claim.

The lower court initially granted the motion but later granted the estate’s motion to reconsider. It also allowed the estate to file an affidavit from a doctor, stating that the decedent would probably not have understood the arbitration agreement that she was required to sign upon admittance to the facility. The affidavit suggested that the decedent was under the influence of certain medications that would have made it difficult for her to understand what was happening, due to the side effects that they caused. The defendants appealed.

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One of the most tragic types of personal injury cases that we see involves nursing home abuse. Individuals trust these facilities to provide around-the-clock care for elderly individuals during the final years of their lives. Unfortunately, many staff members and facility administrators choose to undermine our state’s clear rules against Illinois nursing home abuse and neglect. If you or a loved one suffered harm in a nursing home, call us today to learn more about your potential rights.

Recently, the Illinois appellate court considered a claim involving a surviving husband who brought several claims against the nursing home where his wife was a resident. The decedent suffered from left-side paralysis following a stroke as well as degenerative joint disease and other conditions. She was marked as a fall risk and suffered two falls during her residency at the facility. One of these falls resulted in a goose-egg sized hematoma on her forehead in addition to other injuries. She was admitted to a hospital for treatment and later discharged. Less than a  month later, she passed away.

The plaintiff’s complaint alleged that the facility was negligent in providing care for his late wife, including preventing her from falling, and that as a result of this negligence the decedent lost her life. The facility moved to dismiss the claim and sought to compel mandatory arbitration in the alternative, pursuant to the resident agreement that the decedent signed as part of her admittance. The plaintiff amended the complaint to include a wrongful death claim following his wife’s passing.

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Knowing the best way to protect your legal rights following an accident can be daunting. This is why most people turn to a seasoned Chicago personal injury lawyer to learn more about their options and how to secure the outcome that they deserve during a difficult and traumatic situation.In a recent appellate opinion, an Illinois court considered a case brought by a plaintiff alleging that her attorney mishandled the dispensation of funds obtained from a personal injury lawsuit on her behalf when she was a minor. The plaintiff received $600,000 in a settlement for injuries that she sustained, and her mother was appointed the guardian of her estate. The attorney was appointed as the plaintiff’s guardian ad litem. In 2012, the plaintiff sued her mother, alleging that she spent funds from the settlement that were not used for the plaintiff’s benefit, totaling nearly $80,000. The attorney was not named as a defendant in this action.

The court ultimately entered an award in the plaintiff’s interest but limited the damages on the basis that the plaintiff had a guardian ad litem who was supposed to be monitoring the mother’s withdrawals from the settlement account. The plaintiff next filed a lawsuit against the guardian ad litem, alleging that the attorney allowed the mother to misuse the settlement funds for her own benefit. She alleged that the attorney did not meet or even speak with the plaintiff while he was acting as guardian ad litem and that he did not verify whether the mother’s withdrawal statements were accurate.

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Any type of accident is traumatizing and painful for the victim and his or her family, but there are few things more devastating than losing a loved one as a result of someone else’s carelessness. At Therman Law Offices, our seasoned Chicago wrongful death lawyers have assisted grieving families with bringing wrongful death claims in a variety of accident types. There are many procedural issues that can arise in a wrongful death claim. A recent wrongful death action demonstrates some of these legal and procedural difficulties.

In the action, a woman signed a residency agreement with a nursing home facility. The agreement included a term stating that any disputes arising from the agreement must be resolved through binding arbitration instead of in a civil action. The woman eventually experienced a number of medical events, including diabetic shock that led to a diabetic coma. The woman was later transferred to a nearby hospital, where she tragically died.

The administrator of the woman’s estate filed a wrongful death action against the facility, alleging that the facility was negligent in its treatment and care of the woman and that her estate was entitled to damages as a result. The plaintiff sought damages pursuant to Illinois’ wrongful death statute in addition to the Rights of Married Persons Act and the Survival Act. In response to the complaint, the defendant filed a motion to dismiss, stating that the residence agreement that the decedent signed required the court to dismiss the complaint and to direct the parties to binding arbitration. The plaintiff argued that the arbitration clause was unenforceable, but should the court enforce it, the wrongful death claim should be allowed to proceed in civil court concurrently with the arbitration proceeding on the other claims. In response, the defendant requested a stay of the wrongful death claim, pending the outcome of the arbitration procedure. The lower court denied the defendant’s request and entered an order allowing the wrongful death claim to proceed alongside the arbitration proceeding.

In a recent United States Supreme Court case, the highest court in the nation issued a ruling that has significant consequences for lawsuits involving nursing home abuse and injuries. In Kindred Nursing Centers v. Clark, the Supreme Court concluded that state courts cannot implement laws that single out arbitration agreements in a manner that results in negative treatment.

The facts of the underlying lawsuit are as follows. Two nursing home residents executed a power of attorney for their respective relatives. When each nursing home resident initially moved to the nursing home, the relative executed an arbitration agreement on behalf of the resident. Some time thereafter, each resident passed away, and the relatives each brought a wrongful death lawsuit against the nursing home, alleging that the resident’s death was a result of negligence. In response to the lawsuits, the nursing home moved to enforce the arbitration agreements.

Since the incidents occurred in Kentucky, the lawsuit initially proceeded through the Kentucky state court system and eventually reached the Kentucky Supreme Court. That court concluded that the relatives could not execute the arbitration agreements on behalf of the residents because the residents did not expressly authorize the relatives to enter into the arbitration agreements. The court concluded that the arbitration agreements could not be enforced because an individual must specifically and unequivocally waive his or her right to a jury trial under the Constitution.

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According to recent reports, a 52-year-old woman lost her life at a nursing home following a nursing assistant’s refusal to provide resuscitation and care. According to the records, the woman had not signed a DNR, or Do Not Resuscitate order. This is a legal document that instructs a medical facility to not engage in certain resuscitation methods in the event that the signor becomes incapacitated. If the patient has not signed a DNR, the presumption is that the medical staff should exercise all available methods to resuscitate the patient.

The background of the incident is as follows. The patient was staying at the nursing home facility, located in Highland Park, Illinois, following a recent bout of pneumonia. The patient intended to stay at the nursing home for only a few weeks while she received physical therapy and other recuperative care. The patient had a number of conditions that complicated her recovery, including kidney failure and diabetes.

During her stay, the patient suffered from a bacterial infection known as Elizabethkingia. At one point, the patient coded, which means her heart ceased beating. A nursing assistant who was present referred to the patient’s file but misread the information and falsely believed that the patient had executed a DNR agreement. Based on this false reading of the patient’s chart, the nursing assistant did not call for help or notify any other medical staff members that the patient had coded. After 30 minutes, a staff member realized that the nursing assistant had misread the patient’s file and promptly called 911. Unfortunately, the patient had already passed and could not be revived.

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In a recent case from the Illinois Court of Appeals, Second District, the court was faced with deciding whether documents produced by a nursing home facility were discoverable in a lawsuit alleging that the decedent suffered injuries while in the defendant’s care. The facts of the case were as follows. The plaintiff filed a complaint on behalf of the decedent, alleging that the decedent suffered injuries as a result of a fall while in the care of the defendant. As part of the litigation process, the plaintiff served discovery requests on the defendant, seeking all of the reports created regarding the fall incident. The defendant refused to produce these reports, claiming that they were privileged according to the Quality Assurance Act and the Medical Studies Act because the reports were “prepared for the Facility’s Quality Assurance Committee.”

In response to the denial, the plaintiff filed a motion to compel the defendant to produce the reports. In the motion, the plaintiff argued that the reports were not prepared for the purpose of quality control and that they were not prepared by an internal quality control committee. The defendant opposed the motion and offered a copy of the reports to the judge presiding over the matter for an in camera review. In this process, only the judge is able to review the sought-after documents so that he or she can determine whether the production of the documents would result in some harm or prejudice to the producing party.

The defendant also provided an affidavit from one of the defendant’s employees who was working at the time the defendant fell. The affidavit claimed that the reports were prepared for quality assurance purposes.

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