A somewhat unusual lawsuit has been filed by the family of a deceased nursing home patient against a Chicago nursing home. Unlike most nursing home lawsuits seeking damages for injuries or death to an individual, a lawsuit filed by the family of a deceased patient at Ridgeview Nursing Home seeks damages for emotional distress after the facility allegedly failed to notify them of the death of their mother.
According the the allegations made in the lawsuit, Lovera Staples had been a patient at Ridgeview Nursing Home since 1991. Sometime in April, 2010 Ms. Staples was admitted to nearby Saint Frances Hospital, for medical care. Sadly during her hospitalization, Ms. Staples died.
With the permission of the nursing home– and without notification of the family, Ms. Staples body was transferred from the morgue and buried.
It wasn’t until more than four months following her death, that Ms. Staples family indeed learned of her death when they called to wish their mother happy birthday.
Indeed, if the allegations made in this nursing home lawsuit prove to be true, this nursing home would be guilty of failing to notify family member of a change in medical condition as required by law. However, as a nursing home lawyer, I immediately question the families involvement in their loved ones care— if they waited months to call or visit.
As this case moves though the litigation process in Cook County, IL we may soon learn if a jury buys the sincerity of this families claims for emotional distress or simply an attempt to monopolize on an obviously horrible situation.
Read more about this lawsuit against a Chicago nursing home here.
For laws related to Illinois nursing homes, look here.