Rosewood wants cases transferred or dismissed

Steve Gonzalez Feb. 8, 2008, 4:51am

Rosewood Care Center wants Madison County Circuit Judge Daniel Stack to transfer a wrongful death suit to Springfield arguing that a contract stipulates that proper forum for any civil lawsuit shall be in Sangamon County.

Represented by Kevin Hoerner of Belleville, Rosewood asks that in the alternative to switching venue, that the case be dismissed so that mediation can commence.

According to Hoerner, the same contract states that before the commencement of any civil lawsuit, the parties would follow the Grievance Resolution Procedure, including the mediation of claims.

"Plaintiff and her attorney have failed to participate in the mediation procedure, a condition precedent to the litigation of any claim against defendant," Hoerner wrote.

Vicki Ashton filed suit against Rosewood Care Center of Edwardsville on behalf of the estate of Joe Chiapelli, who was a resident at Rosewood for 14 days in December 2005.

Seeking damages in excess of $150,000, Ashton alleges Chiapelli fell out of his bed on three separate occasions and fell out of a wheelchair on one occasion which caused injuries to his head. The suit claims the last occasion ultimately led to his death.

In addition, Ashton alleges Chiapelli experienced pain and suffering and medical expenses prior to his death.

She claims Rosewood negligently and carelessly failed to take adequate precautionary measures to prevent him from falling, failed to provide adequate equipment to assure that he would not injure himself, failed to properly supervise and attend him and failed to properly assess his risk of falls.

Ashton is represented by H. Carl Runge, Jr., of Collinsville.

Hoerner also wants Stack to dismiss counts I and III of the complaint arguing that the contract states that any and all disputes between the parties, including personal injury claims, to be governed by the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act.

He argues that only count II of the complaint is brought pursuant to the Nursing Home Care Act and also argues that Chiapelli waived any and all common law claims, including negligence claims.

Stack has yet to set a hearing date on Hoerner's motion.

Hoerner also filed an identical motion in another case against Rosewood.

In that suit, John Vieth filed suit against Rosewood on behalf of the estate of Edith Vieth, alleging it failed to properly treat her pressure sores.

The suit, which also names Christian Hospital Northeast-Northwest as defendant, claims Vieth had no decubitus ulcers when she was admitted to Christian on Nov. 4, 2005. She remained there until Dec. 30, 2005, at which time she was discharged and began residence at Rosewood. She resided at Rosewood until Jan. 20, 2006.

Vieth's estate claims Rosewood failed to properly treat her ulcers, causing her to undergo plastic surgery at Anderson Hospital. Vieth was hospitalized at Anderson from Jan. 20, 2006, through Jan. 26, 2006.

The suit claims that Vieth was then transferred to Edwardsville Nursing Rehab and eventually on to Kindred Hospital for treatment of ongoing ulcers. She returned to Rosewood Care Center on March 6, 2006, with a pressure ulcer in the same area still in existence.

She remained at Rosewood except for emergency care at Anderson Hospital in April 2006, until she was discharged to hospice on May 22, 2006.

Vieth died on March 23, 2007.

Her estate is represented by Tom Falb of Alton.

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Anderson Hospital
6800 State Route 162
Maryville, IL 62062

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