On March 20, 2013, a Cook County jury returned its verdict in the amount of $842,801 in favor of an 87-year-old resident of the Kenwood Healthcare Center in Chicago who had fallen at the nursing home on December 26, 2008 and suffered a broken hip, fractured pelvis, and fractured shoulder, all on her right side. The nursing home jury awarded the following amounts to the plaintiff: for pain and suffering (for the 24 days between the resident’s fall until her hip surgery): $415,000; for disability: $300,000; for disfigurement: $75,000; and, $52,801.78 for her medical expenses.
The resident was admitted to the nursing home due to her dementia. The nursing home claim was filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County in November 2009 and alleged that the nursing home failed to develop an appropriate care plan for the elderly resident to address her risk of falling, even after she had fallen on three prior occasions in her room after she had gotten out of bed. The fourth fall occurred on December 26, 2008 and was unwitnessed (the resident was found at the foot of her bed).
The nursing home jury trial began on March 18, 2013. The evidence produced at trial on behalf of the plaintiff established that the nursing home resident required surgery after her fall to repair her fractured hip. The resident’s two other fractures from her fall did not require surgery and they healed on their own. The injuries and surgery caused the resident to be immobile and led to an overall decline in her health, including her inability to walk since her hip fracture, according to the nursing home negligence lawsuit.
The nursing home claim alleged that the resident’s fall and her resulting injuries could have been prevented if the nursing home staff had provided the resident with adequate supervision and assistance to prevent her fall.
The resident’s attorneys provided the following statements after the jury’s verdict:
“We argued that Kenwood failed to take all necessary precautions to prevent our client from falling, allowing her to suffer a broken hip that required surgery and two other fractures that healed on their own. Staff should have provided her with adequate supervision and assistance to prevent the fall.
A broken hip suffered in a nursing home fall is a very serious problem and can lead to further medical issues and complications. Often, these injuries are debilitating for elderly residents. However, there are a number of basic safety measures that long-term care facilities can take to help prevent residents from falling.
Falls are often avoidable, and nursing homes are required to do whatever is necessary to keep residents safe. A reasonably competent nursing staff must follow state and federal regulations and provide adequate supervision in order to prevent falls in nursing homes.”
Nursing home injuries often happen to the most vulnerable victims – those who are frail, infirmed, have multiple medical conditions, and/or suffer from dementia or other chronic and debilitating conditions. One measure of the worth of a society is how well it protects those who are the most vulnerable and who are powerless to control their own lives.
If you or a loved one were injured in Chicago or in another place in the United States due to nursing home negligence, nursing home neglect, nursing home abuse, or a nursing home mistake, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and losses.
Click here to visit our website or telephone us toll-free at 800-295-3959 to be connected with nursing home lawyers in Chicago, in your city, or in your state who may be willing to investigate your possible nursing home claim and represent you in a nursing home case, if appropriate.
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