Suit: Nursing home didn’t tell family woman died until four months later - Chicago Sun-Times
Apr 21, 2011
Three siblings have filed a lawsuit against a North Side nursing home, accusing the facility of failing to notify them of their mother’s death more than four months earlier.
Three family members contend the Ridgeview Nursing Home did not inform them of their mother’s May 2010 death until the woman’s daughter called to wish her mother a happy birthday more than four months later, according to a suit filed Wednesday in Cook County Circuit Court.
The suit claims Lovera Staples was admitted in 1991 to the Ridgeview Nursing Home at 6450 N. Ridge Blvd. She suffered from numerous disabilities and required help with eating, bathing and walking.
Mary Staples, of Chicago, claims she visited her mother at the nursing home April 25, 2010. A nursing home employee called her two days later to report her mother was in the hospital, and Mary Staples visited her mother at Saint Francis Hospital in Evanston April 29, 2010. The woman was released from the hospital and returned to the nursing home the following day, according to the suit.
On Sept. 11, 2010, more than four months after Lovera Staples’ death, her daughter called the nursing home to wish her mother a happy birthday, according to the suit. A nursing home employee told Mary Staples that no one named Lovera Staples resided at the facility.
Mary Staples and her brothers Roy Staples, of Valparaiso, Ind., and Sylvester Staples, of Lansing, went to the nursing home Sept. 13, 2010, and an administrator informed the family of their mother’s death at Saint Francis Hospital in Evanston, according to the suit.
After the family went to the hospital, they learned their mother’s body had been at the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office since May, the suit said. The family made funeral arrangements for their mother Sept. 14, 2010.
Later that day, the Cook County Department of Health removed the body from the county morgue and buried with without the family’s consent, the suit said. The family was told the nursing home authorized the removal.
The family claims emotional distress and is seeking more than $50,000 from the Ridgeview Nursing Home.
An administrator at the nursing home was not immediately available for comment.