Articles Posted in Wrongful Death

A nursing home resident, Concetta DeMarco, was seated in a wheelchair in a transport vehicle driven by an agent of Lifeline Medical Services Inc.

During the trip, the van suddenly stopped, causing the wheelchair to flip over backward. DeMarco, 68, hit her head and suffered bilateral subdural hematomas, which required surgery.

DeMarco subsequently developed a seizure disorder, which complicated her recovery. Unfortunately, she died approximately one year after this incident. She was survived by her two children.

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A state court has found that the plaintiff’s claim that a home health caregiver and agency may be liable for the caregiver’s negligence in supervising a patient but it did not amount to a medical negligence case.

Tammy Upchurch was an employee of Right at Home; she was assigned to provide at-home caregiving services to Ida Stratz. During Upchurch’s shift, she fell asleep. While Upchurch was sleeping, Stratz wandered outside her residence. Several hours later, she was found lying face-down in the snow, unconscious.

Stratz was taken to a nearby hospital where she died. Stratz’s estate sued Upchurch and Right at Home, alleging liability for Stratz’s death.

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Superior Care Homes resident Regina Tallent was 84 years old and suffered from Parkinson’s Disease, macular degeneration, hand contractures and cognitive deficits.

Her condition required one-to-one care and a mechanical soft diet to prevent choking. Over the course of one month, she experienced two choking incidents while eating a strawberry and a cherry tomato.

The second incident caused Tallent to turn blue and lose consciousness. While she was choking, a Heimlich maneuver was applied.

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A nursing home resident, Verna Kelley, suffered from dementia and other medical issues including incontinence. She required special care and was living at Edgewood Convalescent Home. While a nurse’s aide was taking care of her and while the nursing aide placed a pad underneath Kelley, the aide went around to the other side of the bed, where the bed rails were left opened. The aide grabbed the pad, which had become stuck, and this caused Kelley to roll out of bed.

Kelley suffered a broken right femur and underwent surgery.  She then suffered a stroke, which led to her death just two weeks later. She was survived by her six adult children.

The Kelley family sued the nursing home, alleging negligent hiring of the aide, who, the Kelley family claimed, had been fired from a previous job for performing an unsafe Hoyer lift.

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Kathleen Menard, 97, was a resident in an assisted living facility. While she was in an outside courtyard at her assisted living facility on an extremely hot day, she fell off her motorized scooter and landed behind some trees.

She was found unconscious about four hours later and transferred to a hospital for treatment of heat-related illness, including a third-degree sunburn. Menard died within two months. She was survived by her adult son and daughter.

Menard’s children, on behalf of her estate, sued the assisted living facility and its owner alleging that it chose not to ensure her safety by, among other things, checking on her while she was outside, installing security cameras in the courtyard and trimming the trees in the courtyard to ensure staff members had a full view of residents who were outside of the facility.

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Opal Moore, 92, suffered from dementia with agitation. After a hospital stay, she was admitted to the memory care unit at Superior Care Home for rehabilitation.

When she was admitted, her family instructed various nursing home personnel and its owner that she had aggressive behaviors, such as spitting and cursing. A care plan was established, which included a psychological consultation.

However, the consultation was not done and her aggressive behaviors increased. Several months after her admission, she spat on another resident in the dining room. A nurse then contacted her attorney-in-fact and requested that the family provide sitters.

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Rae Hemingway was admitted to the Crestview Center Nursing Home. At the time of the admission, Hemingway’s risk factors were falling, which were documented; they included her history of falls, contractures, decreased circulatory function, and use of assisted ambulatory devices. She was considered a fall risk. By order she was not permitted to walk or remain unattended as a resident of this nursing home because of her fall risks.

Nonetheless, Hemingway was allowed to walk from the facility’s lobby down a hallway. She fell and struck her head and face resulting in a traumatic subarachnoid hematoma and multiple fractures to her face and arms.

Hemingway died several weeks later from complications of her injuries. She was survived by her adult son and daughter.

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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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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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