Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Are Nursing Homes An Easy Target Or Do They Need Reform?

A disabled woman's family is upset that a nursing home in Illinois does not do a better job monitoring the safety of its residents. They have filed suit against the Fox River Pavilion nursing home in Aurora, Illinois seeking compensation. Specifically, plaintiff's claim that a nursing home resident was sexually assaulted while in the nursing home's care. The sexual assault was allegedly done by a fellow resident. According to the March 25, 2010 complaint, the named defendants are Fox River Pavilion nursing home and Sylvester Graves, a patient.

Plaintiff alleges that Graves, 39, sexually assaulted and beat the victim at the nursing home. Graves apparently has a history of arrests for burglary and retail theft. He may suffer from bipolar disease and thus there may be some question as to his capacity. The lawsuit alleges that the nursing home should have more closely monitored or restricted Graves. Plaintiffs contend that additional security and/or treatment for Graves would have prevented the assault. The victim apparently suffers from dementia. She was however, competent enough to go to a nurse's station after the assault.

Graves now in Kane County Jail awaiting trial on eight counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault, criminal sexual assault and battery. In the civil suit, it is anticipated that the nursing home will deny any liability or negligence on their part.

But this is not the nursing homes first brush with controversy. In December, a resident died of heart failure after an attack on his roommate. After investigating the death, state and federal officials terminated funding to the home. Allegedly, it was determined that a lack of staffing contributed to resident-on-resident attacks. This raises the question of what means a nursing home must employ in order to properly monitor and treat aggressive mentally ill residents. This recent Kane County lawsuit as well as others may soon make it clear what safety methods juries expect nursing homes to take in the future.

Keep in mind that both Graves and the Fox River Pavilion are to be presumed innocent of all allegations until otherwise proven in court.


ATTY said...

A source of litigation that appears to be long over due.


Yono Senada said...

Yes. Nursing homes are an easy target. Yes. They need more supervision.

Anonymous said...

No one wants to wind up in a nursing home. Then when you hear about bad stuff happening in a home, it only reinforces the resistence to nursing homes.

Anonymous said...

This story scores a BULLSEYE!

Anonymous said...

I don't want to be in a nursing home when I get older