Balfour vs. Aurora PAC

Introduction:

This suit was recently filed in Cook County court. It alleges that thedefendants’ complete neglect and deficient treatment led to thedeath of Easter Balfour. The main threads that tied the knot of death in this case were bed sores, dehydration, and malnutrition. Despite emergency treatment at the end of her life, she was not able to overcome them.

Filed: July 26, 2016

Jurisidction: Circuit Court of Illinois, Cook County

Category: Nursing Home; Wrongful Death; Dehydration; Bed Sores

Plaintiff: Harvey Balfour, Special Administrator of the Estate of Easter Balfour

Defendant(S): Aurora PAC, LLC, the Grove of Fox Valley, Aurora Rehabilitation & Living Center, and Legacy Healthcare Financial Services, LLC

Summary:

On February 2, 2015, Easter Balfour was admitted to Aurora PAC with a high risk for the development of pressure sores (also known as bed sores or decubitus ulcers). Over the course of just about six weeks there, she developed bed sores that became infected as well as other serious medical conditions. On March 22, 2015, she was transferred to Mercy Hospital for examination and treatment. Doctors there diagnosed her with bed sores , dehydration, renal failure, and hyponatremia. Later, they also diagnosed her with osteomyelitis on her left bone. To treat the bed sores, physicians performed debridement on her left foot. However, Easter could not overcome all of these health issues and, unfortunately, she passed away in early April of 2015. Alleging that the Aurora nursing facility and related entities were responsible for her death, Harvey Balfour brought suit to recover damages.

Claims And Damages:

As mentioned above, this is a wrongful death action. Here are thecentral points of the complaint: they did not assess, prevent, or treat the emergence or development of bed sores; they did not give her enough nourishment or fluids; they did not prevent, detect, or treat her dehydration; they did not sufficiently communicate with her doctors to relieve her medical problems; they neglected her and were careless in taking care of her.

From these allegations, the plaintiff claims that Easter suffered thefollowing damages:

  • Her death
  • Personal injuries just prior to her death
  • Financial expenses including those related to her death and medical care
  • Similar injuries to her next of kin

Insights:

  • It might seem minor but the defendants’ failure to communicate with the defendant’s doctor as her condition worsened is significant because it may have reduced her ability to combat her problems, get better, and even avoid death.
  • Renal failure is commonly associated with malnourishment and dehydration. Therefore, if you identify that your client had renal failure, it might make sense to fashion your suit in the same fashion.
  • One thing to review is the performance of the doctors that treated the decedent in the roughly two weeks prior to her death because the defendants might paint their care as contributing to her injuries. If this is true, they should be added to the complaint.

Relevant Laws:

  • 210 ILCS 45/
  • 210 ILCS 45/3-601
  • 210 ILCS 45/3-602
  • 755 ILCS 5/27-6
  • 740 ILCS 180/1
  • 42 USCA §1396r

Next Up:

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