“Do I need a lawyer?”
Ask any attorney for their most frequently asked question, and your answer will not vary far from this theme. The answer is remarkably complicated in the specific, and yet quite simple in general: If you are in any kind of negotiation, and the other person or entity has an attorney, then you need an attorney.
On the surface, the 57 maggots found in the ear of a resident at the Lutheran Home for the Aged in Arlington Heights, Illinois (a suburb just 20 miles from Chicago) would seem to be an uncomplicated situation.
The woman, a 92-year-old Chicago native, is suffering from severe Alzheimer’s Disease. She’s unable to care for herself or even speak (a sad but common symptom of end-stage Alzheimer’s Disease).
While out for a walk with the 92-year-old, a certified nurses aide (CNA) noticed that the patient was pulling and tugging at her ear. The CNA brought the issue to the attention of a nurse at the Chicago nursing home who saw the insects in her ear. An ambulance was summoned to transport the woman to a hospital where surgeons removed the insects. They also recorded the removal, a video that will unquestioningly play an important role in the ongoing discussions between the nursing home’s attorneys and attorneys for the family.
None of these facts is in dispute. And yet, there are complications to this case that seem to indicate that the issue of nursing home neglect is far from decided.
First, as shocking as it may seem, larval infestation in a human body is common enough to warrant it’s own medical term, myiasis, that specifically describes the condition. While it is frequently found in African and South American countries, it’s not unheard of in the United States. An attorney for the family of the victim sent samples of the larvae to a laboratory and reported that the larvae were between two and three days old.
In addition, according to reports, when the victim was younger, she had a medical procedure that left her with an enlarged ear canal. That condition required that eardrops be administered every day.
Whether the eardrops were administered as ordered, as well as the average growth rate of the larvae in question, will probably play a critical role in determining whether the nursing home neglect lawsuit will be settled in favor of the victim or the nursing home.
At my law offices, our Chicago nursing home lawyers never represented a nursing home, and we never will.
Every nursing home neglect case is complicated, and every nursing home will have attorneys working to protect the interests of the nursing home owners. If you have a loved one who you feel has been the victim of nursing home neglect in an Illinois nursing home, contact our Chicago nursing home lawyers a free and confidential evaluation of your case.