A former Orland Park skilled nursing facility employee has reportedly filed a whistle blower lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court. In her lawsuit, the former overnight nursing supervisor claims she was fired in 2011 in retaliation for reporting the alleged sexual assault of a 93-year-old resident to local police. The former nursing home supervisor claims she was required to take action after a fellow nurse reported the alleged incident to her. According to her complaint, a fellow nurse allegedly witnessed a male co-worker sexually abuse an elderly female resident at the Lexington Healthcare Center. The former supervising nurse stated she verified that the incident actually occurred prior to notifying local authorities.
Several months after she reported the alleged sexual abuse, the 63-year-old supervising nurse was purportedly fired. According to her complaint, the nurse believes she was fired after nine years of service for bringing bad publicity upon the nursing home. The nurse’s lawsuit seeks $30,000 in damages pursuant to the State of Illinois’ whistle blower protection law. She is also reportedly seeking compensation for lost wages and benefits.
As this sad case demonstrates, nursing home abuse can take many forms, including sexual assault. Skilled nursing facilities in Illinois are required to immediately report any suspected instances of sexual abuse of a resident. The Illinois Department of Public Health is tasked with investigating and responding to all reports regarding senior citizen neglect or abuse at a skilled nursing facility. In addition, law enforcement, healthcare, and social service professionals must notify the Health Department anytime they suspect an elderly Illinois resident who is unable to report his or her abuse was victimized by a caregiver.
Too often, seniors in Illinois and elsewhere suffer egregious abuse at the hands of their caregivers. The sexual assault of an elderly or disabled nursing home resident can never be tolerated. Fortunately, the Illinois Elder Abuse and Neglect Act was established to respond to senior citizen abuse throughout our state. If you suspect a skilled nursing facility resident is being abused, you should discuss your concerns with a skilled nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer.
If you believe your loved one was the victim of sexual or physical abuse while a patient in an Illinois nursing home, contact the experienced attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. Our knowledgeable Chicago area nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers are available 24 hours per day, seven days per week to help you protect the rights of your elderly or disabled family members. For a free consultation with a capable attorney, please give Abels & Annes, P.C. a call at (312) 475-9596.
Note: Abels & Annes, P.C. does not represent the former nursing home employee in the above mentioned lawsuit.
Los mayores en Illinois y por todo el país Reciben el Cuidado Inadecuado de Proveedores Médicos Privados, Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog, January 22, 2013
Seniors in Illinois and Nationwide May Receive Inadequate Care from Private Medical Providers, Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog, January 20, 2013
Suit: nursing home supervisor fired for reporting sexual assault of patient, by Sun-Times Media, Southtown Star