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Nursing home deaths continue to draw high settlements

In recent years, nursing homes have come under increased scrutiny. Nursing home deaths and the mistreatment of residents are now being prosecuted regularly. Those in Illinois concerned about their loved ones' treatment while in the care of a facility may be interested that a recent judgment affirmed a $320,000 award after the death of a resident.

According to a recent article, a legislative panel sanctioned a nursing home when it allowed a partially-paralyzed patient's breathing tube to fall out in 2013. Because the patient was being treated in a state-run facility, the case was heard by a Claims Review Subcommittee. The panel required that the patient's family prove that there was negligence on the part of the facility. The facility argued that the patient was terminally ill and that his death was due to symptoms of muscular dystrophy.

Most attorneys who are experienced in nursing home death litigation do not require any up-front money in order to evaluate a case. They typically work on a contingency basis. This means that no payment is expected until a positive financial judgement is awarded from a civil trial.

The patient had been admitted to the facility in June 2013, after his mother and life-long caretaker was diagnosed with cancer. He was found with his breathing tube disconnected in mid-July 2013, and passed away. The Department of Human Services, which ran the facility, provided records that showed the patient had been evaluated several times during the morning of his death and had been fed and given water hours after his autopsy determined he had likely passed away. This fact made members of the panel question the validity of the claimed events and facility's records.

Due to the complex nature of many patients' medical issues, nursing home deaths happen even under the most conscientious care. Those in Illinois who are concerned about the death of a loved one while he or she was under the care of a facility may wish to seek the guidance of an attorney. Attorneys who are experienced in this area of law can advise a client as to the best legal steps to take in the event of a tragedy.

Source: arkansasonline.com, "Panel OKs commission's $320,000 for Arkansas nursing home death", John Moritz, Aug. 19, 2016

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