The Chicago Personal Injury Law Blog

Nursing Home Suit Claims Negligence & Abuse

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Yet another Chicago-area nursing home is in the spotlight over allegations of extreme negligence and abuse, as reported by Chicago Sun-Times Kane County affiliate The Courier-News. Plaintiffs say Tower Hill Healthcare Center in South Elgin failed to "provide a safe and comfortable home" for 54-year-old Rodney L. Volkening.

After suffering a spike in body temperature on July 5, 2008, the man was moved to Sherman Hospital in Elgin. Hospital staff filed a report with the Illinois Dept. of Human Services "because he presented to the emergency room with poor oral hygiene and poor skin care," Illinois injury lawyer (and attorney for the plaintiffs) Craig Brown told reporters.

Specifically, the report claims he had a large amount of feces on his body, a ruptured colostomy bag, severe bedsores, and a fever of 107 degrees. He reportedly was not given any anti-fever medication prior to his arrival at the hospital. 

Mr. Volkening, who required constant care for his spina bifida illness, died nearly four weeks after being removed from Tower Hill. While the lawsuit does not explicitly blame his death on the alleged mistreatment, his death certificate lists staph infection and pneumonia as the causes of death. Mr. Brown indicated the possibility of a wrongful death claim:

"The autopsy (and death certificate) would not indicate the cause of the infection. We are investigating whether the facility's lack of care led to the infection."

Tower Hill administrator Jeremy Amster declined to comment on pending litigation, per company policy, but said the following to reporters:

"We will vigorously defend against any and all claims."

Negligence and abuse claims against Chicago nursing homes are becoming increasingly common. Experienced Chicago injury lawyers may be able to help if a loved one has suffered from negligently inadequate care.

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