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Sunny Hill Nursing Home Hit with Wrongful Death Lawsuit

— April 17, 2019

Sunny Hill Nursing Home recently got hit with a wrongful death lawsuit after a patient died from a fall.

A government-run nursing home recently came under fire in a new wrongful death lawsuit alleging it was responsible for the April 18, 2017 death of 95-year-old resident Violet Petkus. The unfortunate death occurred at Sunny Hill Nursing Home and, according to the suit, Munsurah McCoy, a licensed practical nurse, is also named as a defendant.

The suit itself was filed by one of Petkus’s sons, Bruce Petkus with the Chicago law firm of Kralovec, Jambois & Schwartz. The suit states:

“At Sunny Hill, Ms. Petkus was not provided a safe environment and she had falls. The falls had serious consequences including a head laceration and great toe fracture. The injuries at Sunny Hill precipitated Ms. Petkus’ overall decline and deconditioning and directly caused hospitalization and ongoing rehabilitation needs.”

Legal gavel
Legal gavel; image courtesy of succo via Pixabay,

When Ms. Petkus was first admitted to Sunny Hill Nursing Home two years before her death, the nursing staff noted she had a “high risk for falls,” and even “documented that Ms. Petkus fell on October 12, 2016.” Her fatal accident occurred on April 18, 2017. On that day, McCoy was “one of the nurses responsible for her care” when she fell near her bed. McCoy’s notes from the incident state:

“Resident on floor near bedside. Noted laceration to left forehead with active bleeding…applied pressure with clean towel. Paged RN supervisor and code E. Called 911. Transferred to St. Joe’s Hospital via 911.”

From there, Ms. Petkus was admitted to St. Joe’s hospital where she was “diagnosed with a C1 fracture and right humeral neck fracture.” A few days late on April 22, 2017, she died from “complications of cervical spine fracture due to or as a consequence of a fall.” The suit states, “while under the direct care of Munsurah McCoy, a licensed practical nurse at Sunny Hill, Ms. Petkus fell while attempting to transfer herself to the bathroom. She fell forward and struck her head.”

The suit further argues that both Sunny Hill and McCoy “deviated from the standard of care in Ms. Petkus’ case on eight instances such as failing to provide a safe environment, failure to prevent falls and failure to prevent trauma and injury including cervical spine fracture and humerus fracture.”

Prior to her death, Ms. Petkus’s medical history included “diabetes with neuropathy, hypertension, muscular degeneration with blindness, heart disease, spinal stenosis, arthritis and falls,” according to the suit.

What do you think? Is the nursing home at fault? Should it have done more to protect Ms. Petkus?


Sunny Hill Named In Wrongful Death Suit

Violet Ruth (Smaidris) Petkus

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