$8.3 Million Jury Verdict for the Wrongful Death of a Resident of Long-Term Care Facility

Jovan Hinich was 28 years old and suffered from a neurological disorder that limited his mental capacity to that of a toddler. He lived at Next Step in Community Living facility, where his care plan required him to be supervised while eating and for his food to be cut into bite-sized pieces due to his tendency to eat quickly and swallow food without chewing it.

While he was traveling by van to his day program at the Milwaukee Center for Independence (MCFI), he was allowed to access his lunch, including a sandwich. After arriving at MCFI, Hinich collapsed from an obstructed airway. Part of the sandwich was later removed from his throat.

Hinich suffered cardiopulmonary arrest, which resulted in severe brain damage.  He now resides at a facility for those with brain injuries.

Hinich’s parents, as his guardians, filed a lawsuit against Next Step and MCFI maintaining that Next Step chose not to prevent the choking incident, including making known to the transport worker of Hinich’s choking risk and that MCFI had policies and procedures in effect that were negligent in that they were lax in preventing participants from eating outside of designated meal times. There were other claims of negligent policies and procedures that were criticized in the lawsuit.

The Hinich family settled with MCFI before the trial for a confidential amount.

In the case that continued as to the defendant Next Step, the jury entered and signed its verdict for $8,300,000 finding that Next Step was 60% liable and MCFI was 40% responsible.

The attorney who successfully represented the Hinich family in this unfortunate law matter was Robert D. Crivello. At trial, the Hinich family presented experts in economics and life care planning.

Hinich v. Next Step in Community Living, LLC, No. 12 CV 000272 (Wisc. Cir. Court Milwaukee County, April 26, 2017).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling nursing home negligence cases, wrongful death lawsuits, catastrophic injury cases, motorcycle accidents, automobile crash cases, truck accident cases, bicycle accidents, pedestrian injury lawsuits and construction injury lawsuits for individuals, families and the loved ones who have been injured, harmed or killed by the negligence of another for more than 40 years, in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Deerfield, Crete, Country Club Hills, Forest View, Glencoe, Franklin Park, North Riverside, Olympia Fields, Matteson, LaGrange Park, Hanover Park, Stone Park, South Chicago Heights, Skokie, Winnetka, Hazel Crest, Chicago (Sauganash, Sheffield, South Loop, University of Chicago, Wrigleyville, Chinatown, Edgewater, Edison Park, Garfield Park, Gold Coast, Irving Park, Avondale, Belmont Central, Lithuanian Plaza, Little Italy), Fox River Grove and Cicero, Ill.

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