David S. Jasmer
Setting the Standard in Personal Injury
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Chicago-area nursing home held responsible for woman's death

An Arlington Heights nursing home must pay $250,000 to the family of a deceased resident after a grisly discovery that the family's attorney says created a "geriatric cascade that led to her death." The Lutheran Home for the Aged was ordered to pay $200,000 for violating the Nursing Home Care Act and another $50,000 for wrongful death. The woman's husband and children, who live in and around Chicago, say that they are pleased with the outcome of the case.

It was in 2012 that the woman's family noticed the elderly Alzheimer's sufferer, who was unable to speak, tugging at her ear. When physicians checked her out, they found 57 maggots inside her ear.

During the trial, the family's attorney argued that the woman had been prone to ear infections. However, he said, the staff at the nursing home had not treated her with eardrops as they were supposed to be doing. According to experts who testified during the trial, the infestation was caused by a fly that settled in her ear and laid eggs that became maggots.

The maggots were removed and the woman's family moved her to another facility. However, she died just a few months later at the age of 90. The family's attorney said that she had stopped eating, was humming constantly and had other health issues after the maggots were removed that the family argued were caused by the infestation.

Many of us rely on nursing homes and other facilities to provide care that we are not able to provide to our elderly loved ones. That care is essential, particularly to those who are already in frail condition and/or perhaps cannot communicate how they are feeling. When these facilities do not fulfill their responsibilities, causing harm or worse to their residents, they can and should be held legally accountable.

Source: Daily Herald, "Lutheran Home ordered to pay family of woman found with earful of maggots," Melissa Silverberg, May. 12, 2015

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