Articles Posted in Illinois Nursing Home Care Act

The Illinois Appellate Court for the 1st District reversed and remanded a decision from a Cook County dismissal order.

Barbara Mickiewicz suffered from dementia and was a resident of the Glenbridge Nursing & Rehabilitation Centre Ltd. in northwest suburban Niles from April 2013 until Feb. 17, 2016.

Although she was never adjudicated disabled, she was considered legally disabled because of her dementia. Mickiewicz suffered several falls while at the nursing home, including the final one on Jan. 27, 2016. After that fall, she was transferred to a hospital emergency room. About 4 months later, she died of complications related to her injury.

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The Illinois Appellate Court reversed an order that dismissed the complaint of Itadil Zayed that was filed against Clark Manor Convalescent Center by the independent administrator of the estate of Said Mohammad Zayed.

Said Zayed was a resident of Clark Manor and was disabled due to dementia. He fell out of his bed and fractured his hip in March 2014, allegedly as a result of the nursing home’s negligence. Zayed died in September 2015 and the lawsuit was filed in July 2017.

Responding to Clark Manor’s motion to dismiss the complaint as too late under the two-year statute of limitations on a negligence claim, Itadil Zayed relied on Illinois Code of Civil Procedure Section 13-211, which says someone who is legally disabled, as was Zayed, when he is injured, is allowed two years to sue, running from the date the disability is removed and Section 13-209(a)(1).

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The Estate of Lucille Rigoli sued the owners and operators of a nursing home for negligently causing her wrongful death and suffering before her death. She died on May 10, 2016. The court appointed Michael Rigoli to serve as independent executor of her estate.

On March 13, 2018, Rigoli, as executor, filed a complaint against ManorCare of Oak Lawn (West) and Heartland Employment Services, alleging that they chose not to provide adequate medical care to Lucille Rigoli and thus their decisions led to her fall and the fracture of her hip on March 15, 2016. The lawsuit included separate counts against each defendant for wrongful death and for the pain she suffered before her death under the Probate Act of 1975 (755 ILCS 5/27-6, commonly known as the Survival Act).

The Survival Act of Illinois is found in the Probate Act. Section 27-6 (Actions which survive) states that  in addition to the actions which survive by the common law, the following also survive: …actions to recover damages for an injury to the person(except slander and libel), actions to recover damages for an injury to real or personal property.

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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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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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Audrey Smith, 92, lived at Anna Rehabilitation & Nursing Center and suffered from dementia, hypertension and depression. Almost ten years after her admission, she was found in a pool of blood on the floor of her room. She had fallen and suffered a subdural hematoma with midline shift, a C6 fracture, and an orbital fracture.

After being treated at a nearby hospital, Smith was transferred to a different hospital where she died seven days later. She was survived by her five adult children.

The Smith family and Smith’s estate sued the nursing home and its management company claiming it chose not to provide trained health care staff, provided inadequate staffing and supervision and failed to adhere to professional standards and inadequate care plan.

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On March 1, 2013, Ann Sanders entered into a residence agreement with the defendant, Victory Centre of Melrose Park, SLF Inc., a licensed supportive living facility. Pursuant to an addendum to the residence agreement, the parties agreed that all claims arising out of that agreement, including those of malpractice, could not be brought in a court of law but would be submitted to binding arbitration.

Later, Sanders, who had diabetes, suffered a diabetic shock and lapsed into a diabetic coma. She was then taken to Gottlieb Hospital in Melrose Park, Ill., where she died on May 21, 2013.

Exactly two years after her death, a lawsuit was filed against Victory Centre of Melrose Park, SLF Inc. alleging negligence and seeking damages in connection with her death. In the complaint, the plaintiff alleged that Sanders’s death was due to the negligence of the nursing home. The lawsuit sought compensation for wrongful death under that statute, the Rights of Married Persons Act (commonly known as the Family Expense Act) and the Survival Act.

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Livija Cruse, an 80-year-old woman who suffered from mild dementia, was admitted to Chicago’s GlenCrest Healthcare and Rehab Center after falling at her home. She was also immobile. Over an 8-week period, she developed a bed sore on her buttocks. Because of the bed sore, she underwent two debridements and nine months of at-home wound treatment care after her discharge from GlenCrest.

On behalf of Cruse, her attorney-in-fact sued the nursing home and the ownership entities claiming that these defendants chose not to prevent and treat the bed sore.  It was also maintained that the nursing home failed to keep her clean and dry, provide her with an appropriate mattress for her condition and place a cushion on her wheelchair. In addition, the lawsuit argued that the nursing home chose not to comply with a doctor’s order regarding her wheelchair.

The defendants countered these arguments that the facility had in fact provided the appropriate care. Before trial, the parties settled for $100,000.

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