A resident of the Lake Shore Healthcare and Rehabilitation Centre On North Sheridan Road in Chicago burned to death on the smoking patio of the facility. A difficult to watch video can be seen at CBS Chicago.
In the video, the wheelchair bound man is smoking a cigarette when the lighter in his pocket catches his shirt on fire. Despite the fact that there are several of the nursing home’s residents on the porch, there is no staff member present. Other residents of the facility attempt to put the fire out, but because they are also in wheelchairs, they cannot. Eventually the man, still on fire, wheels himself back into the nursing home, where staff members spray him with a fire extinguisher and push him back onto the porch.
In the ten minutes before the ambulance arrives, no assistance other than an oxygen mask is given to the victim. The victim eventually died as a result of his injuries.
Cheaply made disposable lighters don’t often start a fire on their own, but a defective part that fails to properly cut off the supply of fuel will allow a small flame to continue to burn. Sometimes the cigarette smoker fails to notice this small flame, and consequences can be fatal.
Nursing homes have an obligation to protect the residents in their care. Nursing homes that allow their residents to smoke are not exempt. While a malfunctioning lighter is not the nursing home’s fault, their failure to take any significant life-saving action may result in a successful wrongful death lawsuit.
If you have a loved one who has been hurt or has passed away in a Chicago nursing home, contact our Chicago nursing home lawyers for a free and confidential evaluation of your case. At my law offices, we have the experience to manage every aspect of your Chicago wrongful death lawsuit, and we would welcome the opportunity to speak with you.