Home Health Care Provider in Wrongful Death Case

A home health care provider is being sued in Cook County Circuit Court after one of its patients died while under its care.  LMR Home Health Care Inc., Home Physicians PC, Home Physicians Management LLC, Home Physicians 2011 PC, and House Physicians LLC (“Defendants”) are being sued by Joe Dawkins III (“Plaintiff”) acting as a special administrator of the Estate of Joe Dawkins Jr., deceased, for wrongful death.  The Defendants are being sued under the legal theory of vicarious liability for the acts and omissions committed by their employees while administering home health care to Mr. Dawkins, Jr.  The complaint can be found here.

The Case

Mr. Dawkins, Jr. was the recipient of home health care provided by the Defendants until he was admitted to The University of Chicago Medical Center emergency room in November 2011.  Once there, Mr. Dawkins, Jr. was admitted to the intensive care unit, where he underwent an amputation of his lower leg, which was infected to the point of necrosis.  His other ailments included sepsis, multiple bedsores, and uncontrolled diabetes.  Mr. Dawkins, Jr. died shortly thereafter.

The complaint alleges that the Defendants’ staff neglected Mr. Dawkins, Jr., which is a violation of the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act.  The complaint further raises a count of wrongful death and a survival action.  The plaintiff is seeking more than $50,000 in damages and Judge Maddux will hear the case in March 2014.

Nursing Home Neglect in Illinois

Placing a loved one into a nursing home or into home care can bring a mixture of feelings to everyone involved.  You want your loved one to be cared for and safe, and yet stories like the one summarized above raise concerns about how safe they will truly be.  Incidentally, the law provides protections for elderly individuals living in provided care situations.  More specifically, under the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act, professional caregivers are required to provide residents with mental health treatment, psychiatric care, general supervision, oversight of the resident’s physical and mental well being and assistance with movement, dressing, meals, bathing, and other personal needs or personal maintenance.

Furthermore, a resident is entitled to respect and privacy in their personal maintenance and are entitled to have their medical information respected as confidential information and their medical treatments conducted discreetly, permitting only those who are directly involved in the resident’s care to be present and involved under the law.  The law further protects residents from neglect by staff and nursing home administrators.

While the law will not necessarily result in every nursing home and home health care provider complying with the law all of the time, as in the case of Mr. Dawkins, Jr. discussed above, the law does offer a means for redress for those harmed by elder abuse and neglect and their families.

If you suspect that your loved one is a victim of abuse or neglect at the hands of nursing home staff or home health care staff, those responsible should be held accountable. Please contact Robert Rooth today at (847) 869-9100.