Dan Harkins Jun. 4, 2015, 10:44am

A man's estate is suing a nursing home that allegedly should have prevented an assault that caused his death.

Deborah French, executor of the estate of Leonard Hagerty, filed a complaint on May 29 in Cook County Circuit Court against Emeritus Corp., doing business as Emeritus at Joliet Courtyard.

On April 25, 2014, Hagerty was a resident of Emeritus when he sounded the call light from his room. When an employee entered his room, Hagerty was found on the floor with resident Robert Caver standing over him, the lawsuit states. Hagerty was pronounced dead soon after.

Caver, the lawsuit states, had a history of aggressive behavior and "engaged in a physically aggressive act against another resident" at 5 p.m. on the same day as Hagerty's death.

The defendant is cited with failing to notify Caver's doctor of a change in his condition and when he began exhibiting increased aggressive behaviors, transfer Caver from the facility, revise Caver's service plan to address aggressive behavior, ensure that staff was adequate and adequately trained, protect Hagerty, lock Hagerty's door, control Caver, and have adequate policies in place to prevent this incident from happening.

As a result, the lawsuit states, Caver struck Hagerty, causing Hagerty to fall and die from his injuries.

The plaintiff, citing wrongful death and violation of the state Assisted Living and Shared Housing Act, seeks damages in excess of the court's jurisdictional limits, plus costs.

The plaintiff is represented by Clifford Horwitz of Horwitz, Horwitz and Associates Ltd. in Chicago.

Cook County Circuit Court case no. 2015L005457.

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