As Americans continue to age, many are forced to turn to nursing homes for help in their elder years, either for short-term stays or for the duration of their lives. While the specific needs of nursing home patients vary, the general need is always the same: patients need help and care and that is what they expect when they become nursing home residents. Often, that care is provided and a resident is treated with respect, either recovering from a short term illness or living out the remainder of their lives with dignity. But too often, nursing home neglect occurs, leaving fragile residents at the mercy of those who are supposed to care for them, often leading to injuries among home residents or even their deaths.
When nursing home abuse or neglect causes a resident to become injured, or worse, to lose his or her life, that resident or the resident’s surviving family members may be entitled to relief. Speaking to an injury lawyer in Illinois who has experience handing these types of cases is the best way to learn about what legal options may be available if you suspect nursing home abuse has injured your family member.
Unfortunately, when the worst cases of neglect or abuse happen, a patient can pay the ultimate price. It appears that happened in Long Island recently at the hands of several nursing home employees. Recently, nine of the employees were arrested for their roles in the death of a 72-year-old patient.
Authorities allege that a 72-year-old woman was transported to the nursing home to recover and rehabilitate after a a hospital stay related to breathing problems. With the patient came a doctor’s orders that she be hooked up to a ventilator to make sure the woman was receiving enough oxygen. However, according to officials, a nurse failed to read those orders and did not use a ventilator, allowing the 72-year-old woman to suffocate to death over a period of two hours while alarm bells sounded. Reportedly no employees investigated the alarms even though they indicated warnings that the patient was struggling to breathe.
After the death of the woman, authorities allege that eight other employees helped cover up the incident by telling the woman’s family that she died of a heart attack and failing to report the death to the proper local authorities. Nine employees have been charged in the incident with one nurse facing charges of criminally negligent homicide.
Though this incident occurred in New York, it is similar to cases of neglect that happen in Illinois nursing homes. By failing to follow procedures and by acting in a negligent manner, a helpless 72-year-old woman lost her life. Now, those purportedly responsible for her death are facing serious charges.
In addition to those charges brought by the state, families of nursing home abuse victims may be able to seek relief for their damages through the use of a civil claim. These claims can help provide a family with compensation for their losses, though no amount of money can adequately compensate a family when a loved one dies.
At Abels & Annes, P.C., we have experience representing nursing home neglect victims and helping their families seek a recovery. We are standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week to take your call and to see if we can help you as well. The call is free and we will provide you with a free case consultation without any obligation on your part. If you suspect your loved one’s injuries or death was caused by neglect, call us today at (855) 529-2442 or locally at (312) 924-7575 and let us help you.
Prior Blog Entry:
Director of Nursing Home Pleads Guilty to Care-Related Charges, Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog, published January 31, 2014.
Arrests in Long Island nursing home death, WABC 7 Eyewitness News, published February 11, 2014.