Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Law Blog

Illinois Nursing Home Faces Multiple Wrongful Death Lawsuits Due to COVID-19

Posted by Charles Gilman | May 29, 2020 | 0 Comments

An Illinois nursing home is facing legal action from several families due to its handling of the spread of coronavirus. Previously, Bria of Geneva was sued by the family of a resident who passed away of coronavirus complications after contracting the virus at the nursing home. Now at least four families are suing Bria of Geneva, with two families having filed wrongful death lawsuits just this week.

Two Critically Ill Residents

The families of Rose H. Doneske and Jack P. DeFrancesco have accused Bria of Geneva of willful and wanton misconduct leading to their deaths at the nursing home. The lawsuit for Rose H. Doneske was filed by her son and addresses the fact that within a few weeks, her condition got much worse very fast before she was transported to the hospital on April 17. When she was admitted, hospital staff said she had low blood oxygen levels, a fever, and had tested positive for COVID-19.

Due to her symptoms, the nursing home's staff had assumed she might be positive for the virus, yet they did not isolate her. And that was just one issue the lawsuit mentioned. Once her blood oxygen levels were lower and she didn't have a fever, she was sent back to the nursing home. But her health quickly worsened again, and a mere four days later, she passed away at the age of 90.

The lawsuit for Jack P. DeFrancesco—which was filed on behalf of his widow—is sadly similar. He got sick while at the nursing home in late March, as he was very dehydrated, suffering from a kidney infection, and tested positive for COVID-19.

Like Doneske, he was presumed COVID-positive by the nursing home staff, yet they did not isolate him to prevent other residents from becoming ill. They also didn't tell his family how sick he was. He was admitted to the hospital, where he stayed until he passed away nearly a month later, at the age of 90.

What the Lawsuits Allege

As you can see, these wrongful death lawsuits are very similar, as this nursing home seems to have a pattern of negligence when it comes to handling the spread of the coronavirus. More specifically, both lawsuits claim the nursing home neglected to provide staff with adequate PPE, enact proper prevention policies, screen residents and staff for symptoms, or isolate residents who were presumed positive for the virus.

As a result, each lawsuit requests a jury trial, as well as over $50,000 in damages. The nursing home's representatives mentioned they're satisfied that over 33 staff members and 50 residents have recovered from the virus or are asymptomatic. But the Illinois Department of Public Health has said Bria of Geneva is the nursing home that has the most deaths from COVID-19 in the county, as at least 24 residents have died from it so far.

If you have a loved one who has passed away in a nursing home, you might have a wrongful death case to pursue. Contact a Maryland personal injury lawyer today to find out if you should take legal action to hold the nursing home accountable for negligence toward your loved one.

About the Author

Charles Gilman

As managing partner and co-founder of Gilman & Bedigian, it is my mission to help our clients recover and get their lives back on track. I strongly believe that every person who is injured by a wrongful act deserves compensation, and I will do my utmost to bring recompense to those who need and deserve it.

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