Fall In Stairwell Results In Paralysis– And Ultimately Death Of Chicago Nursing Home Resident

Picture-251The family of a Chicago nursing home resident has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Sacred Heart Nursing Home in connection to a fall at the facility.  The lawsuit asserts that Sacred Heart failed to supervise the nursing home patient with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and a propensity to fall.

The woman left her room without the knowledge of the nursing home staff and fell down a stairwell at the facility resulting in fractures to her back, closed head injuries and paralysis.  Eight months after sustaining the injuries, the woman died. 

The lawsuit is pending in Cook County, Illinois.  Read more about this nursing home lawsuit here.

Falls In Nursing Homes

Nursing homes have a non-delegable duty to conduct an assessment of a nursing home residents regarding their fall risk when the individual is admitted to the facility and re-assessment during their stay.  Although the nursing homes can not be held responsible for all falls in their facilities, nursing homes should be mindful of the following conditions that increase the likelihood of falls:

  • Vision problems, individuals inability to perceive light, glare levels and depth perception may result in their inability to identify fall risks
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Memory problems
  • Weakness in lower and upper extremities
  • Bladder dysfunction
  • Gait and imbalance problems

Irrespective of an individuals fall-risk assessment, nursing home staff should properly monitor residents to insure their well being and monitor dangerous areas such as: stairwells, bathrooms, kitchens and medical areas. 

For laws related to Illinois nursing homes, look here.

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Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial. Lisa
After I read Jonathan’s Nursing Home Blog, I decided to hire him to look into my wife’s treatment at a local nursing home. Jonathan did a great job explaining the process and the laws that apply to nursing homes. I immediately felt at ease and was glad to have him on my side. Though the lawsuit process was at times frustrating, Jonathan reassured me, particularly at my deposition. I really felt like Jonathan cared about my wife’s best interests, and I think that came across to the lawyers for the nursing home. Eric