The Illinois Appellate Court for the First District ruled that Nancy Clanton, as administrator of her mother Laurel Jansen’s estate, does not have to arbitrate Survival Act and Nursing Home Care Act claims against Oakbrook Healthcare Centre.

Clanton’s sister, Debbie Kotalik, used her authority under a power of attorney to sign a contract with Oakbrook Healthcare when their mother was admitted to its facility.

Section E of the contract called for arbitrating disputes and Section F said: “If the resident is compelled by a change in physical or mental health to leave the facility, this contract shall terminate on 7 days’ notice or immediately upon the resident’s death.”

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Caledonia Dela Pena, 91, suffered a fall at home; she sustained a fractured femur. She was admitted to Bryn Mawr Terrace facility where a skin assessment revealed intact skin with no rashes.

After Dela Pena’s discharge several days later, she was taken to a hospital emergency room where she was diagnosed as having a Stage I sacral pressure sore. Her health unfortunately deteriorated, including a worsening of the pressure sore. She died four months later and was survived by her two adult children.

Dela Pena’s estate sued Bryn Mawr Terrace, alleging that it chose not to timely turn and reposition her during her stay and provide proper wound care. The lawsuit also named the hospital for inadequate wound treatment and charting among other claims.

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Colvin Towns was admitted to the Camden Nursing Facility in 2008. He suffered from many and various health conditions, including congestive heart failure, bowel and bladder issues, cognitive loss and diabetes.

In 2016, he was sent to a hospital emergency department, where he was diagnosed with having nursing home-acquired pneumonia, respiratory failure and septic shock. Towns, who was in his 60s, died eight days after that hospitalization. He was survived by his two adult children.

Towns’s estate sued the nursing home, alleging that it chose not to provide sufficient staff and failed to implement an adequate care plan. The lawsuit maintained that the nursing home defendant failed to respond to Towns’s needs, including keeping him safe and free from developing pneumonia.

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John Tsucalas, 76, suffered from dementia and was admitted to Meadowview Rehabilitation and Nursing Center. Just two weeks later, he fell in his room, striking his head and his right hip. He was transferred to a hospital for treatment and died ten days later.

The cause of death was determined to be a blunt impact right hip fracture. Tsucalas’s estate sued the nursing home, alleging claims for wrongful death and survival. The Tsucalas estate asserted that the nursing home had chosen not to implement fall protection measures or properly supervise him.

Before trial, the parties settled for $75,000.

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Shirley Liebenguth lived at Cedarbrook Senior Care and Rehabilitation, a facility operated in part by the local county government. She was morbidly obese and required assistance with basic mobility and total assistance with transfers.

When a certified nursing assistant allegedly attempted to move her, she fell to the floor and suffered bilateral fractured femurs.

Liebenguth was brought to a nearby hospital where she suffered cardiac arrest and passed away. She was survived by her two brothers.

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James Owen, 89, lived in the John Knox Village Care Center. He fell while using the bathroom, suffering a fractured cervical vertebra, and died within two weeks. He was survived by his older sister.

The Owens estate and Owen’s sister sued the nursing home, alleging it chose not to provide residents with 24-hour oversight, properly train its personnel and adequately assist Owen while he used the bathroom.

Owen’s sister and the estate argued that the nursing home’s conduct amounted to complete indifference or conscious disregard for Owen’s safety, warranting punitive damages.

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The Illinois 4th District Appellate Court affirmed the decision of an Adams County Circuit Court judge.  In December 2018, Mark Mason signed numerous documents allowing his mother, Doris Mason, to be admitted to St. Vincent’s Home Inc., a nursing home, including an admissions agreement. The agreement included an arbitration clause and a provision in the contract for services that the contract terminates automatically in the event of Doris’s death.

From December 2018 through October 2019, Doris resided at the nursing home. She suffered a fall, fracturing her left femur on Jan. 14, 2019. She also suffered burns to her right hip five times between Feb. 20 and May 7, 2019.

On Oct. 2, 2019, Doris passed away. Mark filed a lawsuit in December 2020 against the nursing home, WDM Health Services Inc., and three caretakers. Mark alleged violations of the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act, negligence and claims under the Illinois Wrongful Death Act.

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Jennifer Andrules, a disabled person, was taken to Adventus Bolingbrook Hospital for medical evaluation on May 16, 2014. While at the hospital, she fell and fractured her right leg, which required surgery. She was then discharged from Adventus to Lakewood Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, but on June 3, 2014, she suffered another fall and fractured her right leg, again requiring additional surgery.

On May 2, 2016, Northern Trust, as special administrator of the Andrules’ estate, filed a complaint against Adventus for medical negligence. The director of nursing at Lakewood Nursing & Rehabilitation was deposed in 2018 regarding the second fall.

On Feb. 11, 2019, Linda Gavlin, as special administrator for the estate, filed suit against Adventus and Lakewood, alleging one count of medical negligence against each defendant.  Lakewood moved to dismiss, arguing the charges were untimely.

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Mr. Doe suffered from several health conditions. He had atrial fibrillation and diabetes and he had undergone amputation of his right leg.

When Doe was admitted to Roe Nursing Home, he was deemed a fall risk. However, a fall prevention plan was not put in place at the outset. He fell multiple times and suffered minor injuries. He later rolled out of bed after using a remote control that elevated his bed to the highest position.

As a result of that fall, Doe suffered a fractured left femur and underwent surgery. Unfortunately, he died the day following surgery.  The lawsuit alleged that the nursing home was liable for Doe’s injuries and subsequent death. The plaintiff asserted that his death resulted from the defendant nursing home’s numerous breaches of the standard of care related to fall protection.

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Joseph Falarski, 88, suffered from dementia and other illnesses. He was admitted to the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans. While living at the nursing home, he fell multiple times, including while left unassisted in a bathroom and during transfers.

As a result of these falls, Falarski suffered serious injuries, including a subdural hematoma, facial fractures and lacerations.

Falarski’s health deteriorated after his last fall, which led to his premature death from complications related to his fall fractures. He was survived by his wife and four children.

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