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Articles Posted in Personal Injury

elderly-1461424_1920-thumb-350x233-90117-300x200City View Multicare Center is a for-profit nursing home located in Cicero, Illinois. They participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs and have 485 beds. Currently, they are one of many nursing homes in Illinois battling a severe outbreak of COVID-19. As of  May 11, 2020, 262 residents and staff have tested positive for COVID-19 and 11 people have died at the nursing home.

Medicare.gov gives them one out of five stars (much below average) based on recent health inspections and staffing levels. Regarding staffing, residents at City View Multicare receive 11 minutes of care from a registered nurse per day, compared to a national average of 41 minutes, and 52 minutes of a nursing aide’s time compared to 2 hours and 18 minutes nationally.

A government health inspection in 2019 found 18 health deficiencies; an inspection in 2018 found 18 as well, and 10 deficiencies were found in 2017. In the last 3 years, City View Multicare has had 17 complaints filed by residents or others that resulted in citations. Health inspections in 2019 found that the facility failed to:

On April 21st, 2020 at 10:26 AM, a three-vehicle crash on I-94 near Deerfield, IL claimed the lives of 29-year-old Roberta Harris from Chicago and 28-year-old Christopher Lopez from Bronx, New York. The cause of death was determined to be blunt-force injuries. Roberta Harris, Christopher Lopez, and a third unnamed passenger were driving south on I-94 in a Jeep Cherokee when Lopez sideswiped a truck, this initial impact caused his car to spin, he then crashed into another truck. The third passenger in Lopez and Harris’ vehicle was hospitalized at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge with serious injuries and the two semi-truck drivers were taken to Highland Park Hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening.

Being injured in an auto accident is traumatic. But for passengers injured in a car crash where their driver was potentially at fault, it can be even more stressful. Not only do they have to deal with injuries, but they also have to face the fact that their injuries may have been caused by the negligence of someone they trusted, possibly even a friend. That can be an extremely difficult thing. However, this should not stop the victims from pursuing the damages to which they are entitled.

If you have been injured in a car accident while someone else was driving, you deserve an experienced car accident attorney fighting for your rights. At The Collins Law Firm, our team of dedicated car accident attorneys will work to ensure you get the compensation you deserve. Fill out our free contact form or call us today at (630) 527-1595 for a free consultation.

senior-with-mask-5088202_1920-1024x714As the number of people infected with COVID-19 in Illinois continues to rise, new information is revealing how devastating the coronavirus has been in nursing homes in the state. In total, 438 nursing homes around the state have current outbreaks. Recently released data shows that there are more than 14,882 cases of COVID-19 in nursing homes across Illinois and 2400 deaths—about 50% of the COVID-19 deaths in Illinois.  These numbers exploded after the state began stepping up testing of residents and staff at nursing homes.

These facilities have the worst outbreaks of COVID-19 in the state as of May 8:

  • City View Multi-Care Center in Cicero – 216 residents and staff have tested positive for coronavirus and 9 have died.

law-OXGhu60NwxU-unsplash-1024x566The First District Appellate Court issued a recent decision addressing whether a pregnant woman, who is compelled to abort her fetus because of a possible injury to the fetus caused by a doctor’s negligence, can sue the doctor for the injury and death of her unborn child even though she elected to have the abortion.

The First District answered in the affirmative and ruled that the woman’s claims against the doctor for the wrongful death of the unborn fetus could proceed under Illinois’ Wrongful Death Act.

In Thomas v. Khoury, Monique Thomas was admitted to the hospital for elective surgery and during presurgical testing, her urine and blood samples displayed elevated levels of hCG, which is a potential indicator of pregnancy. An ultrasound failed to definitively show the pregnancy even though it was consistent with a pregnancy of fewer than four weeks. The surgeon told Thomas not to worry about the test results and that she was not pregnant. Thereafter, Thomas proceeded with the surgery under general anesthesia.

uber-eats-zV95GVlaVqY-unsplash-3-300x230Food delivery services like Uber Eats, Door Dash, Postmates, and Grub Hub have become something we rely on in today’s fast-paced world. There’s nothing quite like getting food delivered right to your door. Moreover, during the COVID-19 crisis, these services are helping restaurants stay afloat and can be a safer way to get prepared food. But do these delivery drivers carry auto accident insurance? Drivers for these delivery companies drive hundreds of miles a week. What happens if they get into an accident?

Insurance Coverage by Company

Most delivery service companies employ people as “so-called” independent contractors. However, independent contractors are not considered employees of the company, so the company may not be responsible for these drivers. How does that affect you? If one of these delivery drivers hits your car, he or she may not have insurance to cover your damages.

white-volvo-semi-truck-on-side-of-road-2199293-1024x684In response to the nationwide COVID-19 outbreak, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued an emergency declaration on March 13, 2020, increasing the hours commercial vehicle drivers can be on the road without taking a break and providing certain other relief for these drivers transporting emergency relief items.  The emergency declaration was expanded on April 8, 2020, and will remain in effect at least through May 15, 2020.

The FMCSA is an agency of the federal government responsible for regulating and providing oversight of commercial motor vehicles in order to reduce injuries, crashes, and deaths involving large trucks and buses.  These vehicles typically exceed 10,000 pounds.

Under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (Regulations), a commercial motor vehicle driver is only allowed to drive a total of 11 hours during a period of 14 consecutive hours and cannot drive after the end of the 14 consecutive hour period without first taking 10 consecutive hours off.  These restrictions are in place to enhance the safety of the driver and other motorists on the road by making sure drivers are getting adequate rest before operating these large vehicles.  Fatigue is a major factor linked to commercial vehicle accidents.  Fatigued drivers are increasingly likely to suffer a loss of attentiveness, slower reaction times, impaired judgment, and a likelihood of falling asleep.

virus-4931227_1920-1024x683The Illinois Department of Public Health has finally released information about the growing numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths at individual nursing homes in the state. As nursing home neglect and abuse attorneys, we have felt that families with loved ones in a nursing home deserve to know this important health information, and we had been dismayed by the secrecy and lack of transparency in Illinois up until now.

Below is a list of Illinois nursing homes with the worst outbreaks, as reported by the Chicago Tribune. It includes the nursing homes with the highest number of cases/deaths as of April 19. Unfortunately, we expect these numbers to rise in the coming weeks as nursing homes report more cases.

Cook County:

man-hands-waiting-senior-33786-1024x683
Note: These numbers have been updated as of  May 12, 2020.

With elderly residents and close living quarters, nursing homes are extremely vulnerable to coronavirus. As the coronavirus crisis continues to develop in Illinois, numbers are emerging showing that nursing homes account for about 50% of the state’s COVID-19  deaths. That number is not surprising when you consider that 410 nursing homes in the state have been affected by the virus.  Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, recognized that nursing homes would be vulnerable back in a March 12 statement, during which she prioritized restricting visits to nursing homes as a method of limiting the spread of coronavirus.

Despite Illinois banning the majority of visitors at nursing homes, the latest infection reports are still showing coronavirus on the rise in senior facilities. Daily news reports and infection data highlight the widespread problem of COVID-19 infections in Illinois nursing homes. Recently released data from the Illinois Department of Public Health shows that over 14,882 cases of coronavirus and 2400 deaths are linked to nursing homes in the state and the numbers continue to grow.  Hardest hit has been Cook County, which has reported 1350 nursing home-related deaths and multiple nursing homes with serious outbreaks. At least four other Illinois counties–including Will, DuPage, Lake, and Kane– have reported 500 or more confirmed cases of COVID-19 in long-term assisted care facilities.

covid-19-4961257_1920-300x169As if we needed further proof that COVID-19 does not discriminate in favor of the famous, we learn that one of the National Football League’s record-setting field goal kickers has just died from COVID-19 complications in a New Orleans nursing home.  73-year old Tom Dempsey, who was born without fingers on his right hand and part of his right foot and yet kicked what was in 1970 the longest field goal (63 yards) in NFL history, died April 4 in New Orleans’ Lambeth House retirement home, where he had been a resident since 2012.    

 The State of Louisiana has become notorious for its initial unwillingness to take COVID-19 as seriously as other states, and now, predictably is paying the price, becoming one of the states with the fastest-growing rates of COVID-19 infections and related deaths.  Included among the alarming number of Louisiana deaths are 15 residents of Lambeth House, where Dempsey had been a resident.  50 of its residents have tested positive for the virus, as of the date of Dempsey’s death. 

But, rather than try to recover from its early ignorance, and get ahead of the virus through competence and transparency, the State of Louisiana has instead opted for shameful secrecy.  Specifically, it has just reversed its previous policy and now will no longer make public the names of the nursing homes identified as having “clusters” of COVID-19.  A “cluster” is defined as two or more related COVID-19 cases—information that is extremely valuable not only to public health officials but also to families whose loved ones are in one of the state’s nursing homes.  Now, Louisiana will merely publish a list of the homes where there are confirmed infections and deaths. And it will now provide this information only twice a week, instead of daily, as had been its practice. 

crack-3364707_1920-1024x768 In Illinois, cities and municipalities are generally immune from lawsuits. In order to bring a lawsuit against a city or municipality, you have to show that the government acted intentionally or showed a “conscious disregard” for the safety of others. This is called willful and wanton conduct.

City and suburban sidewalks are in a state of disrepair across Illinois. A broken or unlevel sidewalk isn’t just unsightly, it’s dangerous. A small crack or a level change hidden beneath snowy conditions can pose a serious hazard to children, joggers, and the elderly. At night, the danger becomes much greater and individuals can fall victim to and suffer a fall on an unmaintained sidewalk.

Typically, cities and municipalities are not responsible for small cracks or level changes that are less than 2 inches. This is often referred to as the De Minimus rule and it protects governments from being sued if you trip or slip and fall because of a small defect in a sidewalk. But for larger cracks and level changes, cities and municipalities can be held responsible for failing to inspect and repair dangerous sidewalks.

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