Family alleges negligence in woman's fall from wheelchair

By Dan Harkins | Aug 12, 2015

A woman's family is suing a doctor and health-care practice, alleging negligence for an ultimately fatal fall she suffered in the waiting room.

Julie Sakoda, as executor of the estate of Yasuko Sakoda, filed a lawsuit Aug. 10 in Cook County Circuit Court against National Medical Care Inc., doing business as Fresenius Medical Care Round Lake, and Dr. Walid Ghantous, who works for the defendant health care company, alleging negligence.

According to the complaint, in January and February 2013, Yasuko Sakoda suffered several strokes, which made her a high risk for falls thereafter. The suit says on June 24, 2013, Sakoda had just received dialysis treatment with the defendant and was waiting in a wheelchair in the lobby for transportation to arrive. When her ride arrived, the lawsuit states, she tried to lift herself, fell forward and hit her head, causing a subdural hematoma.

She was admitted to Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, the lawsuit states, where she died Aug. 18, 2013.

The suit says the defendants failed to establish a protocol to prevent falls and a specific ambulatory plan for Sakoda, assist Sakoda out of her wheelchair, and watch over her in the lobby where she was left alone.

Julie Sakoda seeks damages of more than $200,000, plus costs. She is represented by attorney Michael Kosner of The Deratany Firm in Chicago. 

Cook County Circuit Court case number 2015L008167.

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