Jane Holloway was an employee of Oakridge Convalescent Home on Feb. 7, 2011. She filed a charge of discrimination in violation of the Illinois Human Rights Act (775 ILCS 5/1-101 et seq.) against Oakridge Nursing & Rehab Center LLC (“Oakridge Center”) who was the employer and the managing company of Oakridge Convalescent Home.

Oakridge Center received notice of the charge in the spring of 2011 and transferred substantially all of its assets for no consideration to Oakridge Healthcare Center, LLC (“Oakridge Healthcare”). Oakridge Healthcare became the new manager of Oakridge Convalescent Home. Holloway subsequently obtained an administrative judgment of $30,880.  When Oakridge Center chose not to satisfy the judgment, the State of Illinois filed a complaint against Oakridge Healthcare, as the successor of Oakridge Center to enforce compliance with Holloway’s judgment.

Oakridge Healthcare filed a motion for summary judgment; the circuit court granted it. The State of Illinois appealed and argued that it presented sufficient evidence to create material issue of fact that Oakridge Center transferred its assets for the fraudulent purpose of escaping Holloway’s judgment.

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Dolores Trendell, 85, was admitted to Clare Oaks for rehabilitation following a fractured ankle.  She suffered from atrial fibrillation, which put her at risk for developing blood clots and suffering strokes and had been taking Coumadin as a blood thinner for years. Trendell was admitted to this nursing home facility on Feb. 23, 2011. Less than a month later, a nurse at Clare Oaks documents that Dr. Percival Bigol, the doctor responsible for managing her medication, spoke to the nurse by phone and ordered the Coumadin discontinued.

The nurse, Christina Martinez, did so and documented the change twice, but chose not to include it in the “physician orders” section of Trendell’s medical chart.

Dr. Bigol denied ever giving the order or being aware of the change at the time. Trendell ceased receiving Coumadin on March 16 and suffered a stroke two weeks later.

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Louise Reese, 100, lived at Harbison Hall Assisted Living. While an employee of the facility was helping her get up from the commode, she dropped her to the floor. Reese suffered bilateral femur fractures.  Without further examination, the employee of the facility put her back in her bed and covered her up with bed sheets and blankets.

When a hospice aide arrived to see Reese, she found her moaning in pain. The aide also discovered severe swelling and bruising around Reese’s knees and lower thighs. X-rays revealed the femur fractures in both legs. Although Reese was transported to a hospital for care and treatment, she unfortunately died the next day.

Reese’s estate sued Harbison Hall alleging that its employee chose not to protect the patient while moving her from the commode to a wheelchair. It was also alleged that the employee failed to call for help when she dropped Reese and failed to evaluate her. There was also an allegation that the assisted living facility and its employees decided not to report the fall to Reese’s family. The lawsuit also alleged inadequate staff training. It may be obvious, but it seems likely that the nursing aide or employee elected to hide her condition under the bed clothes after she dropped Reese to the floor and elected not to tell anyone about the fall, which undoubtedly severely injured the fragile 100-year-old woman.

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Ellis Mae Reed, 72, had a history of significant health problems that included diabetes and vascular disease. After she developed a blood clot, she was admitted to Jackson Hospital. For five days, she remained bedridden. She developed sepsis and was moved to the facility’s critical care unit, where she was diagnosed as having a Stage 4 pressure sore on her sacrum; staff administered three debridements and hospice care.

Reed unfortunately died approximately three months after her Jackson Hospital admission. She is survived by her 12 adult children.

Reed’s son, on behalf of her estate, sued the hospital, alleging that it chose not to turn and reposition her during the first five days of her hospital admission, which was the method that should have been used to prevent her pressure sore. The Reed family also alleged that the medical chart contained false entries.

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Natalie Clark, 82, had a history of mental health problems. She was admitted to a nursing home where she resided for approximately one year. During her time at the nursing home, staff administered a cocktail of antipsychotic medications, which included Haldol, Seroquel and Poloxin.

She developed neurological symptoms and painful contractures, which led to her hospitalization. This condition occurred after she was given these medicines.

Clark later died after suffering from pneumonia. She was survived by her adult son.

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Christine Mitchell, 70, was a resident of Grace Healthcare of Tucker where she required assistance with all activities of daily living.

One morning, a nursing home assistant attempted to change Mitchell’s bed linens while she remained in the bed.

While the bed linen change was ongoing, the nursing assistant rolled Mitchell off the bed. She suffered a large bruise on the right side of her forehead and was later diagnosed as having a subdural hematoma — bleeding within the brain.

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A watchdog report released recently called for new focus on protecting nursing home patients. The report shows that nursing home facilities have regularly chosen not to report thousands of serious cases of potential neglect and abuse of seniors who receive their health care through Medicare even though it is a federal requirement for them to report.

Auditors with the U.S. Health and Human Services Inspector’s General Office drilled down on episodes that were serious enough that the patient was taken straight from the nursing home to a hospital emergency room.

The data that revealed this alarming reality was done by scouring Medicare billing records. It was estimated that in 2016, about 6,600 cases of potential neglect or abuse were not reported as required. Nearly 6,200 patients were affected.

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Countryside Care Centre was a nursing home in Aurora, Ill., a suburb west of Chicago. On Dec. 31, 2011, Countryside Care, LLC transferred the nursing home and the operation of it to Symphony Countryside, LLC. All employees were terminated with Symphony, which then had sole discretion on rehiring.

The sale agreement stated that “[n]othing contained herein shall be construed as forming a joint venture or partnership between the parties hereto.” Symphony was authorized and licensed to run the nursing home starting in January 2012.

On April 16, 2014, Lillie Michelet was admitted to Presence Mercy Medical Center with shortness of breath and chest pains. She was diagnosed with congestive heart failure.

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The plaintiff, Godfrey Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, a nursing home, filed a complaint for services that was given to the defendant, John Toigo. At the time of the complaint, Toigo was a resident in this nursing home care facility. Through his son, Michael Toigo, he filed an answer and included affirmative defenses as to the nursing home’s lack of standing.

The court in Madison County, Ill., erred in entering a default judgment against Toigo on the nursing home’s oral motion for default. The court ruled that as the defendant was denied the opportunity to defend on the merits of his responsive pleadings and denied the opportunity to challenge the nursing home’s affidavit as to damages, the appellate court found that the trial court erred in denying Toigo’s pro se motion to vacate the default judgment.

Godfrey Healthcare served its motion to reconsider, a notice of hearing on Toigo’s former lawyer rather than on Toigo as required by the court order.

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Lillie Michelet was admitted to the Countryside Care Centre Nursing Home on April 21, 2014. She was discharged on June 21, 2014 with bed sores on various parts of her body. The bed sores allegedly caused sepsis, which was a cause of her death on June 29, 2014.

Michelet’s son, William Harris, as special administrator of her estate, brought a lawsuit against the various nursing home entities, including Countryside Care Centre Inc. and Countryside Care LLC (collectively, Countryside defendants), claiming negligence and violations of the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act (210 ILCS 45/1-101 et seq.).

The trial judge granted summary judgment to the Countryside defendants because they sold Countryside Care Centre to Symphony Countryside LLC on Dec. 31, 2011 and thus had no ownership, operational interest, or financial interest of the facility during the time Michelet was a resident.

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