Nelms vs. Evergreen Living & Rehab Center, Llc

Introduction:

This case was recently filed in the Circuit Court of Illinois, Cook County. The complaint details a long story of neglect and injury that beset a nursing home resident.

Filed: August 4, 2016

Jurisdiction: Circuit Court of Illinois, Cook County

Category: Nursing Home; Neglect; Falls; Negligence

Plaintiff: Richard Nelms

Defendant(s): Evergreen Living & Rehab Center, LLC, d/b/a Villa At Evergreen Park

Summary:

The plaintiff in this case, Richard Nelms, was a nursing home resident at Evergreen Living & Rehab Center (Evergreen). Through his counsel, Nelms states a string of incidents that he encountered during his time at Evergreen. Specifically, on July. 28, 2014, Nelms says that he fell two times. He also alleges to have fallen on August 16, 2014. On the date of the latter accident, he was taken to Little Company of Mary Hospital to receive medical care for injuries he received from these falls. Doctors discovered and informed him that he broke a bone in his right knee but also that he had contusions on both his left and right knee. His right knee even had to be placed in an immobilizer. Nelms brought this suit to recover for the time, expense, and injury that Evergreen’s care gave him, according to his complaint. The specific allegations he made will be discussed in the next section.

Claims and Damages:

This case is noteworthy because of its exhaustive reliance upon the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act. Generally, the suit maintains that the defendant deprived the plaintiff of the rights afforded to him under this Act through its substandard care and the injuries that resulted. It draws heavily on the Act’s definition of neglect, abuse, and personal care. However, the complaint does also make some very specific points and here are some of its most fundamental claims: the defendant did not provide enough or adequate services or trained staff to support the plaintiff; the defendant did not provide/update/revise enough or adequate plans, services, or treatments to prevent falls including those ordered by his doctor; the defendant did not supervise the plaintiff; and the defendant did not provide quality service to the plaintiff.

From this weighty list of allegations, the plaintiff draws a line to damages that he argues resulted from these errors and omissions including the following:

  • Broken bones
  • Long-term pain and suffering
  • Disability
  • Hospital bills and medical expenses
  • Reduced quality of life

Insights:

  • One point to stress is the overall lack of monitoring and supervision of the plaintiff. To emphasize this, counsel should critique the training and experience of those who were in charge of him. Additionally, counsel should comb through logs and records evidencing a breakdown in his care.
  • The plaintiff claims to have fallen at least three times over a couple of dates. Here, there is an added complaint that not only did they not establish a plan to prevent the first fall but they repeatedly failed to notice and prevent the later falls. These exaggerated mistakes tend to increase the likelihood and amount of recovery.
  • Broken bone injuries in nursing home cases normally fall in the middle to upper end of recovery because they are very identifiable harms but also curable. If counsel can show this injury as predicative of some future disability, then more recovery may be possible.

Related Laws/Cases:

  • 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

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