Attorneys from Levin & Perconti have just settled two large Illinois nursing home negligence cases against ManorCare Health Services. In both cases, elderly patients of ManorCare in South Holland, Illinois suffered bedsores as a result of the facilities being understaffed, and negligence on the part of nursing home workers. “This negligence caused our clients’ conditions to deteriorate, and forced them to endure significant pain in their final years,” said attorney Steve Levin.
Bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers, are often-fatal sores that are frequently caused by unrelieved pressure when an individual remains in the same position for an extended period of time and blood is allowed to pool under the skin. The lesion will initially appear as a red, painful area which ultimately may turn purple; if left untreated and allowed to worsen, the skin may tear open and become infected.
Bedsores are preventable, but when they do occur, they generally occur on bonier parts of the body such as the sacrum, elbows, knees, and ankles. They sometimes arise as a symptom of malnutrition, and if found early, they can be treated. Nursing homes and hospitals generally have programs in place to prevent the development or worsening of bedsores in bedridden patients, but when nurses and caregivers are negligent, the victims suffer greatly.
The totaled $1.75 million verdict came from two separate lawsuits brought by the families of victims who developed severe pressure sores because staff at ManorCare failed to provide adequate care. The first settlement for $1 million was approved earlier this month, and the second settlement was approved last week for $750,000.
The initial $1 million settlement was won on behalf of the family of an 80 year-old resident who, during her five-month stay, developed multiple infected pressure sores which contributed to cause her death nearly two years after she was first admitted to the facility. The Illinois nursing home negligence lawsuit alleged that, in addition to failing to prevent or properly treat the elderly woman’s bedsores, the staff caring for her engaged in false charting, drug abuse and negligent hiring.
The second settlement was reached for the family of an 82-year-old woman who entered the nursing home for rehabilitation purposes and was expected to return home. Instead, during her admission to ManorCare she developed a necrotic pressure sore that required surgery and took over two years to heal. She also became malnourished and immobile. After six weeks, the victim’s family moved her out of the facility, but she was unable to ever fully recover from her injuries caused by neglect at the South Holland facility.
“During our investigation, a former wound care nurse testified that during the time of our client’s admission, the facility was understaffed and unable to provide adequate care to residents. If staff complained or raised concerns with the Illinois Department of Public Health, they were reprimanded by their superiors,” noted Levin. “Due to insufficient staffing, the nursing staff could not deliver proper care to residents. The wound care nurse testified to witnessing many residents lying in their own urine or feces and residents with pressure sores not being turned or repositioned.”
In cases like this, Chicago personal injury lawsuits may be filed to help cover the costs of medical expenses incurred as a result of the healthcare provider’s negligence, and to compensate the families of the victims for the time lost with their loved ones, as well as the pain and suffering the victims experienced prior to death. But perhaps more importantly, these cases serve to expose negligent practices on the part of hospitals and healthcare providers. “The victims’ families filed lawsuits to draw attention to the problems at ManorCare South Holland, with the hopes of preventing this from happening to future residents,” said Levin. “Our clients’ cases illustrate that there were serious systemic issues at the facility.”
Illinois nursing home negligence cases and Illinois personal injury cases can be absolutely devastating both physically and emotionally. Levin & Perconti is a nationally renowned law firm concentrating in all types of personal injury, medical malpractice, and wrongful death litigation. If you or a loved one have suffered as a result of a negligent healthcare provider, contact an attorney immediately to better understand your rights under the law.