A nursing home in Illinois is being sued after a resident passed away of coronavirus complications. The lawsuit alleges that the nursing home—called Bria of Geneva—didn't take the right measures to stop the spread of the virus throughout the facility. More specifically, the lawsuit says the staff ignored recommendations from Governor Pritzker and government agencies, resulting in elderly residents being put at risk as the virus spread throughout the nursing home.
Allegations of Negligence
The lawsuit states that the nursing home's negligence led to the death of the resident in question, Helen A. Osucha. She began experiencing symptoms of coronavirus, leading the staff to assume she had caught the virus, but she was never tested to confirm or isolated from others at the facility. This put both residents and employees at risk.
Instead of protecting people by taking precautions, those in charge of the nursing home basically ignored guidelines, according to the lawsuit. Even after its first confirmed case of the virus in mid-April, the nursing home didn't get enough testing kits for all residents at first, so within a week, one case of coronavirus grew to 55 cases. And by mid-May, the nursing home was dealing with a serious outbreak that involved 112 cases and 22 deaths.
How the Nursing Home Fell Short
The lawsuit states that the nursing home failed to follow several recommendations, such as the following:
- Encouraging social distancing among residents and any visitors
- Giving personal protective equipment (PPE) to employees
- Screening residents and employees for fevers and other symptoms
- Quarantining residents with symptoms of COVID-19
- Contacting local health departments to report residents with symptoms
This personal injury lawsuit also goes into detail about the care that the victim, Helen A. Osucha, received in the nursing home. In particular, it alleges that she didn't get the right care once she became sick, causing her illness to quickly get worse.
She became bedridden, yet the nursing home didn't contact her daughter or other family members to give them the news of her illness. Instead, Osucha died alone at the facility before anyone reached out to her family to explain what was going on.
As a result of the negligent actions of the nursing home, the personal injury lawsuit is seeking over $50,000, as well as legal fees and additional compensation. The hope is that this will not only compensate the family of the victim but also urge this and other nursing homes to respond earlier and more adequately to severe illnesses like coronavirus.
This isn't the only personal injury lawsuit to come about as a result of COVID-19, and it won't be the last. Families in other states have sued nursing homes for their relatives becoming ill, as well. While it can be challenging to keep up with the ever-changing guidelines surrounding this virus, all facilities in charge of providing healthcare—including nursing homes, doctor's offices, and hospitals—should be paying close attention to the latest information on how to keep people safe.
If you think a hospital or nursing home has been negligent in caring for a relative with COVID-19 or any other illness, it's time to consider filing a personal injury lawsuit. Contact a Maryland personal injury lawyer today to learn more about your options.