Woman sues over spinal injuries suffered in nursing home fall

Dan Harkins Jun. 28, 2015, 5:25pm

An elderly woman who suffered spinal injuries during a fall is suing the nursing home where the fall occurred and the nurse who was overseeing her on that day.

Joan Cholewa filed a complaint June 11 in Cook County Circuit Court against Manor Care of Hinsdale LLC, doing business as Manorcare Health Services-Hinsdale, and nurse Martina L. Mungongo.

According to the lawsuit, Cholewa was a resident of Manorcare from Jan. 14, 2014, to Feb. 7, 2014, as well as from Feb. 14, 2014, to March 16, 2014.

On Feb. 3, 2014, Cholewa sustained a fall while Mungongo was her attending nurse. After the fall, the lawsuit states, X-rays revealed that she had chronic compression fractures as well as arthritis.

On Feb. 8, she was admitted to Adventist Hinsdale Hospital for back pain. She was found to have three acute compression fractures in her spine. On March 16, 2014, after experiencing continuous pain in her back, Cholewa was discharged.

The defendant is cited for violating the Nursing Home Care act by failing to ensure Cholewas' health and safety; properly evaluate and monitor her condition; utilize preventative measures to prevent a fall; ensure that treatment procedures were administered; document the true status of her condition; develop and follow a full care plan; monitor and treat her deteriorating condition; timely transfer her to the hospital for treatment; ensure that all documentation reflects the actual nursing services she received; ensure the facility had trained staff; adequately monitored and treated her condition; and report the abuse and neglect she was experiencing to the proper authorities.

As a result of "negligent treatment over a prolonged period of time," the lawsuit states, Cholewa sustained injuries, disability and disfigurement, pain and suffering, and medical expenses.

The plaintiff seeks unspecified damages in excess of the court's jurisdictional limits, plus costs.

The plaintiff is represented by Eva E. Golabek of Kralovec, Jambois and Schwartz in Chicago.

Cook County Circuit Court case number illegible.

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