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12 Case Study

The victim was an 86-year-old woman who resided in a nursing home in Lindenhurst, Illinois. She had numerous medical conditions, including congestive heart failure, dementia, kidney disease, moderate malnutrition, anemia, esophageal reflux and osteoarthritis. As a result, she required a wheel chair and a clip and/or pressure alarm.

No staff members were present in the room that had seen the victim fall from her wheel chair. Video footage that would have shown what occurred in the fall was missing.

The incident occurred in 2012. The victim had been left unsupervised in her wheel chair, without a clip or pressure alarm attached. She fell out of the chair and suffered a broken hip. Three days later, the victim died from her injury. The Illinois Department of Public Health did not investigate the incident.

The victim’s family contacted Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C. Our law firm proceeded to file a wrongful death and survival action in Lake County Circuit Court against the owner of the nursing home facility.

In litigating the case, our law firm discovered that no staff members were present in the room that had seen the victim fall from her wheel chair. Video footage that would have shown what occurred in the fall was missing. However, there was footage available that showed events before and immediately after the fall.

Additionally, our law firm learned that, despite being at a high risk of falls and an elopement risk, the nursing home did not constantly monitor the victim or provide her with a pressure alarm. At the time of her fall, a clip had not been attached to her shirt. As a result, no alarm sounded when she fell.

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A Family Guide to Safety in Illinois Nursing Homes