A former nursing home employee reported to state health officials that he witnessed severe neglect at the nursing home in which he worked, including a resident’s severe bed sores, an elderly resident lying in a pool of urine and another resident who had fallen and was calling for help, yet remained unattended. These reports of abuse were photographed by the former nursing home employee and reported to the state health officials. The nursing home employee was then fired after being temporarily suspended.
The trial court has allowed a proceeding to take place with the former employee’s whistle-blowing lawsuit as well as his wrongful termination case. The nursing home had moved to dismiss the lawsuit, which resulted in a temporary shutdown of the rehabilitation center located in Tennessee.
According to the attorney for the nursing home employee, the man was fired in retaliation for “doing the right thing.” The nursing home claims that the employee violated work rules and patient privacy laws by using his cell phone to take photographs of the conditions at the nursing facility.
The nursing facility employee was on temporary assignment last year when a technician summoned him to a patient’s room. It was found that the patient was soaked in her own urine. On the same day, the nursing home employee noticed severe bed sores on another female resident. Yet another resident was found on the floor after having fallen and crying out for help without assistance.
According to the report, when the nursing home employee reported the poor conditions at this facility, his superiors first suspended him and then soon after, fired him. The nursing home employee then reported his findings to the state health department, which conducted an inspection that resulted in a highly critical 143-page report citing multiple violations of state and federal law.
In February 2013, the facility was shut down and its residents transferred to other facilities. The nursing home facility reopened in April 2013. A lawyer for the facility said the whistle-blower law did not apply because the employee chose not to meet its reporting requirements. In addition, the nursing home claims that the employee was fired not because of retaliation, but because the employee violated work rules, which prohibit the use of photography of residents.
Kreisman Law Offices has been handling Illinois injury cases and abuse to the elderly at nursing home facilities for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of another for more than 37 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Calumet City, Naperville, Inverness, Lisle, Elmhurst, Elmwood Park, Wheeling, Romeoville, Chicago (Roscoe Village), Tinley Park, Orland Park, Niles and Schaumburg, Ill.
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