Most nursing home lawsuits are about getting justice for an individual or family after a serious injury or death. Like it or not, the economics involved in nursing home litigation make the prosecution of well substantiated cases of nursing home negligence simply impracticable to prosecute in the absence of an accompanying amount of substantial damages.
In the face of this common litigation practice, a recently filed nursing home negligence lawsuit against a nursing home in Joliet, Illinois, draws attention to a problem at many nursing homes across the country— and it has little to do with catastrophic injuries.
The family of a disabled patient at Hillcrest Nursing and Rehabilitation Center brought a lawsuit against the facility alleging that the patient was intentionally burned by another patient’s cigarette. What make the alleged perpetrator unique is that he was repeated involved in abusive acts involving other patients at the facility— yet Hillcrest failed to take the necessary actions to protect the patients safety.
According to news reports of the lawsuit from Chicago’s CBS2, the perpetrator of the cigarette burn had verbally or physically assaulted as many as two dozen other patients at the facility.
If it indeed turns outs that this perpetrator aggressive tendencies are confirmed– and Hillcrest failed to implement any safety measures to protect other patients— the facility may very likely have to compensate the plaintiff in this nursing home lawsuit for his injuries.
On a broader scale, this nursing home lawsuit will hopefully improve the living conditions for other patients at this Joliet nursing home who appear to have been living in an abusive environment. Perhaps Hillcrest will begin to recognize that caring for patients involves protecting them from the harm of others?
Related Nursing Homes Abuse Blog entries: