When a nursing home undertakes the responsibility to provide care for its residents, an important part of that duty encompasses protecting patients from harm caused by other residents. When nursing facilities and their administrators fail in carrying out this obligation and patients suffer as a result of the actions of other residents (who may not even be cognizant or in control of their actions), those facilities may be made to answer to Illinois nursing home negligence lawsuits for the injuries of the residents they were supposed to protect.
That may be the next step for the families of residents of Hillcrest Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, a Joliet nursing home that has been found to be negligent in caring for its residents. State public health officials confirmed Wednesday that they are in the process of revoking the facility’s license, and Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) officials have also confirmed that the home was scheduled to be decertified for Medicare after an IDPH investigation revealed that residents were transferred without regard to their preference of facility.
Additionally, a separate IDPH investigation found that between May and October, a 26-year-old male Hillcrest resident sexually, physically, and mentally abused at least 23 other residents, reported the Joliet Herald-News. The man exposed himself and assaulted residents of both sexes, threatening to “come back with a gun” if they reported the incidents. The administrators of the facility had the responsibility to provide adequate supervision, and to prevent a situation like this from occurring.
Our Chicago personal injury lawyers have brought suits against the Hillcrest facility a number of times. In fact, Chicago personal injury attorney Steve Levin recently filed a lawsuit on behalf of the family of a Hillcrest resident who was allegedly burned by another resident. In that situation, Hillcrest staff did not report the incident to the IDPH. Additionally, our attorneys won a $995,000 settlement against Hillcrest, on behalf of the mother of a 45-year-old nursing home resident with schizophrenia and alcoholism who died as a result of a gastric ulcer which perforated a vein and caused a hemorrhage. Signs and symptoms of the gastric ulcer, present two weeks prior to the resident’s death, were not reported to the resident’s physician.
“As long as 10 years ago, that home had difficulty preventing residents from injuring other residents,” said Levin. “They’ve had a very spotty regulatory record that is filled with incidents of neglect and, frankly, it’s about time that the state and the federal government took the appropriate action to shut that home down.”
Levin & Perconti is one of the nation’s most recognized and respected leaders in the area of nursing home negligence litigation. Although many state and federal regulations, such as the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act have been established to protect the elderly in these settings, gross violations occur every single day, tragically compromising the health, well-being and dignity of some of our society’s most vulnerable members.
If you believe that a loved one may be the victim of nursing home neglect or abuse, contact an attorney to better understand your rights under the law.