A nursing home resident at Maryhaven Nursing and Rehabilitation Center died in early July, and this past Friday, Glenview police ruled the 86-year-old’s death a homicide. The Chicago Sun Times reports that the resident’s fatal brain injuries were the result of a nursing home assault by another resident. The incident occurred in the nursing home’s dementia unit that handles residents with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. According the Maryhaven’s website, the facility is participating in a study to improve care and the quality of life for people living with dementia.
Although the exact circumstances surrounding this assault are unclear and not reported at this time, both the police and the Illinois Department of Public Health are investigating. However, under the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act, facilities have an obligation to protect the safety and well-being of residents under their care. Unfortunately, many facilities operate at minimal staffing levels to save money, making it difficult for workers to provide the level of care necessary for elderly residents who are often battling complex health conditions.
We know that when nursing home staff members fail to properly supervise residents, a multitude of injuries and accidents can occur. Our Chicago nursing home lawyers have represented residents who suffered fatal injuries in nursing home falls because staff failed to provide proper supervision. We have also handled cases in which residents were left unsupervised and allowed to wander outside of the facility, including a case we settled for $950,000 for the family of an 85-year-old woman with dementia who wandered outside a nursing home and froze to death because of lack of supervision.
In this Maryhaven nursing home incident, the victim’s death was a result of abuse by another nursing home resident. Although the home is still trying to investigate the circumstances surrounding the victim’s death, we know that many of these resident-on-resident attacks can be prevented if a nursing home has properly trained staff sufficiently supervising all residents. We have represented families in cases such as this, including a case where an elderly resident was beaten to death by another resident. Illinois nursing home neglect lawyer Steve Levin helped the victim’s family settle the case with the home for $1.3 million.
When nursing homes in Chicago and throughout Illinois fail to properly supervise residents or maintain a safe environment for the people under their care, injuries or death may occur. When these tragic accidents occur, victims and the families of those wrongfully killed have the right to take action to hold all negligent nursing homes accountable for their failures. Illinois nursing home lawsuits compensate victims for their injuries or the loss of a loved one, but they also create awareness around the epidemic of nursing home abuse and neglect and send a message that families will not stand for substandard care. They also motivate negligent nursing home to change their policies and procedures to avoid future lawsuits.