The number of people entering nursing homes is increasing at historic levels as the Baby Boomer generation retires. This case questions whether these facilities are capable of handling residents with advanced medical issues.
Filed: July 29, 2016
Jurisdiction: Circuit Court of Illinois, Cook County
Category: MEDICAL MALPRACTICE; WRONGFUL DEATH
Plaintiff: Christopher McFadden
Defendant(s): Dr. Lucy Lang; Chappell Housing Complex, Inc.;
This recently filed case is typical of many other incidents and lawsuits coming up around Illinois and around the country. The setting is a health care center, Chappell/Bobby Wright Housing. The situation focuses on the death of Shirley McFadden on July 2, 2014 while under the care of the personnel of that complex. In the lawsuit that followed, the plaintiff (Christopher McFadden, the administrated of Shirley McFadden’s estate) complains that as a resident of that center, Shirley had a reasonable expectation that it could provide for her healthcare, living, and transportation needs. At the top of this list was the need to monitor her vitals, give her medications, and consult with her doctors. However, in his opinion, the facility did not provide this baseline care and Shirley died as a result. In the lawsuit that followed, Christopher laid out a wrongful death cause of action to recover for the loss of Shirley.
Claims and Damages:
Christopher McFadden sued the personnel, facilities, and companies assigned with the task of caring for Shirley because he believed they were responsible for her death. His action rested on the following claims: they did not account for or guarantee her well-being on June 1, 2014; they did not check her vitals on the same day; they did not transport her to her physician’s office for her scheduled visits; they did not properly give the medication she needed (as ordered by her doctor) to her; and they were generally negligent in taking care of her.
Because of these events, Christopher McFadden claimed various damages on behalf of Shirley McFadden including the following:
- Various financial losses
- Personal injuries including death
- Expenses related to burial/funeral
- 735 ILCS 5/2-622
- 740 ILCS 180
- 750 ILCS 65/15
- 735 ILCS 5/13-212
- 735 ILCS 5/2-1116
- 735 ILCS 5/2-1115
- 735 ILCS 5/2-1114
- 735 ILCS 5/2-1205
- Nursing homes take on a wide range of responsibilities when they open their doors to the elderly and infirm. This case attempts to draw the boundaries of those duties. The indicators are normally what they contracted for and what the resident could have reasonably expected but you might also want to look at what other nursing homes traditionally do as well.
- Nursing home cases bring in some of the largest recoveries. This may well be because of the fact that many of their residents are prone to severe injuries or medical issues. Yet, it might also stem from sympathetic juries viewing residents as vulnerable and large nursing home corporations as culpable.
- A lot of this case focuses on what the nursing home did to monitor the resident. To this point, it might be helpful to review the policies, procedures as well as evidence of them performing them (i.e. checklists and signoffs) to check their norms against the execution of these norms.