Louise High was admitted to Brandywine Senior Living at Upper Providence.  At the time of her admission, High suffered from dementia, hypertension, a bladder tumor and gait dysfunction. Because of these conditions, she was required to receive help with medication and activities of daily living.

During the second week of High’s admission to this facility, the staff at the nursing home found her on the floor of her room, clutching her right hip.  Later that day, she fell on her right side and vomited.

She was taken to a hospital emergency room where she was diagnosed as having a fractured hip and sepsis. Her condition continued to decline. She died several months later and was survived by her two adult sons.

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Ms. Doe, receiving home health care, was an amputee who experienced constant pain at her stump site. To care for her condition, she was given pain medication. She had an epidural Port-A-Cath implanted under the skin of her chest. Ms. Doe was discharged from a hospital and planned to receive several weeks of home care from visiting nurses who would be assigned to clean the new port site, change her dressing and check for signs of infection.

Four days after Ms. Doe’s port was inserted, a visiting nurse, Roe, allegedly noted that the port site looked tender and had drainage. Roe allegedly changed Ms. Doe’s dressing. She did not contact Ms. Doe’s doctor about these findings.

During a later visit, Ms. Doe allegedly told Roe that she had decreased sensation to her bladder. Roe allegedly changed Ms. Doe’s dressing but did not return to see her for about five days. During this time, Ms. Doe’s port site was red and swollen. She complained of decreased sensation to the lower part of her body.

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Paul Smith was admitted to the Attleboro Nursing & Rehabilitation Center where he was recognized as a fall risk. Three years after his admission, he suffered a fall that resulted in a fractured hip. His condition deteriorated, and he died approximately two weeks later. Smith was survived by his son and wife.

The Smith estate sued the nursing home and several related entities alleging that these defendants had chosen not to properly evaluate Smith and failed to take the necessary steps to minimize his risk of falling and injuring himself.  The Smith family lawyer argued that his fall was preventable, which directly led to a decline in his health. It was also alleged that the fall was a cause of his death just two weeks after his hip fracture.

Before trial, the parties settled this case for $120,000.

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Charles Jackson lived at Care Pavilion Nursing & Rehabilitation Center for more than four years. During his time there,  he allegedly suffered more than 14 undocumented falls. After one fall, he was found on a bathroom floor and was taken to a hospital where he underwent a hip replacement.

Jackson was returned to the nursing home but was transferred back to the hospital less than one month later.  There, he was diagnosed as having sepsis and severe dehydration.

He died just over two weeks later from respiratory distress, sepsis and a prosthetic hip infection. Jackson, 83 at the time of his death, was survived by his adult daughter.

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Vera Petrella was a resident of the Arden Courts of Yardley long-term care facility. She had a history of coronary artery disease, hypertension, dementia and Parkinson’s disease.

Her care plan provided that she would receive assistance transferring her in and out of bed, assistance going to the bathroom and walking. Several weeks after she was admitted, Petrella fell. After several more falls, she suffered a fractured left hip that required surgery. She later died as a result and was survived by her three children.

The Petrella family and children sued Arden Courts of Yardley PA LLC and other entities, alleging claims for wrongful death and survival. The Petrella family claimed that the facility chose not to implement fall prevention measures, adequately assess her condition and provide sufficient supervision.

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Mr. Doe, 84, suffered from advanced dementia and lived in a nursing home. One morning, a nursing assistant found Mr. Doe lying in his bed with his head caught between the bed frame and side rail. Shortly after he was discovered, Mr. Doe was pronounced dead. The nursing home allegedly falsely reported to the medical examiner that Mr. Doe had died of cardiac arrest related to his hypertension.

A lawsuit against the nursing home alleged that it chose not to use safe bedrails that allowed for 2 3/8 inches of space between the mattress and the bedrails. The Doe family charged that the space between Mr. Doe’s bedrails and mattress was 7 inches, which allowed him to slide in between the mattress and rails, becoming trapped and strangled.

The lawsuit also alleged that the defendant nursing home had wrongfully chosen not to report that the actual cause in Mr. Doe’s death was bedrail strangulation.

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Thomas Handzus, 75, suffered from dementia, schizophrenia, malnutrition and other ailments. He was a resident of Meadowview Rehabilitation & Nursing Center.

During his approximate three-month stay at this nursing home facility, he experienced weight loss, aggressive behavioral disturbances and confusion. Handzus also left the facility unsupervised or was wandering.  It became necessary for him to be transferred to a behavioral health unit for psychiatric care.

After Handzus returned to the nursing home, he fell and hit his head. Following a hospitalization, he was transferred to hospice care and died several days later. He was survived by his son.

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Clementine Leonard was a resident of Symphony Jackson Square LLC, which is a long-term care nursing facility. The facility is governed by the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act. She was a resident from Feb. 27, 2016 through June 10, 2016.  Symphony was managed and operated by Maestro Consulting Services LLC.

On Feb. 7, 2019, Marilyn Herns, as the court-appointed guardian of Leonard’s estate, filed a lawsuit against Symphony Jackson Square, Maestro and Norwegian American Hospital Inc., which was not a party to this appeal.

The lawsuit alleged violations of the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act and negligent mistreatment that led to multiple pressure sores as well as an allegation of common law negligence brought against Maestro. The defendants moved to compel arbitration based on a healthcare arbitration agreement that Herns signed along with the admissions paperwork when Leonard was admitted, and to dismiss based on the two-year statute of limitations as for negligence.

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The Illinois Appellate Court for the 1st District reversed and remanded a part the Second Amended Complaint that alleged violations of the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act and common law negligence. The trial judge denied the defendants’ motion to compel arbitration, ruling that the plaintiff denied the existence of a valid arbitration agreement and stating that she lacked authority to sign the agreement on behalf of the patient. Section 2(a) of the Uniform Arbitration Act contemplates a summary proceeding in which the court substantively disposes of the issues presented.

The appellate court order reversed and remanded the case with instructions to proceed summarily pursuant to Section 2(a), and to render disposition resolving the factual legal issues raised in determining at the trial level the validity of the nursing home’s agreement.

The court denied the defendants’ Section 2-619(a)(5) motion to dismiss on statute of limitations grounds finding that a question of fact existed as to whether the patient was under a legal disability, was not injunctive in nature and thus is not appealable under Rule 307.

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Olive Mary Davis lived at the Silver Lake Nursing & Rehabilitation Center. As a known fall risk, she required a high level of care, including a bed alarm, verbal cues and raised bed rails.

On the day of this incident, she was found on the floor covered in blood. She suffered a fractured right hip. The fracture required open reduction and internal fixation surgery as well as treatment for her fractured forearm.

Davis died of her injuries within two months and was survived by her daughter.

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