No light in bathroom at center of suit against nursing home

Kelly Holleran Oct. 23, 2009, 2:28am

A man is blaming Edwardsville Nursing and Rehab Center for causing his elderly father's death after he says his father fell while attempting to use the toilet in a bathroom with no light.

Mark A. Gibbear filed a lawsuit Oct. 16 in Madison County Circuit Court against St. Mary's Health Care Center Investors doing business as Edwardsville Nursing and Rehab Center, Ide Management Group, Mark Ide Management Group, Mark Ide, John Davis, Omega Healthcare Investors and OHI Inc.

Mark A. Gibbear claims his father, Arthur V. Gibbear Sr., was using the bathroom during the night on Oct. 22, 2007, that was in his resident's room at Edwardsville Nursing and Rehab Center.

However, the light in the bathroom was not working, forcing Arthur V. Gibbear Sr. to attempt to use the bathroom in total darkness, according to the complaint.

"While in the bathroom, Arthur V. Gibbear, Sr., fell to the floor, hit his head and suffered a severe injury that caused his subsequent death," the suit states.

As a result of his fall, Arthur V. Gibbear Sr. suffered great physical and mental pain before his death that same day and lost his future enjoyment of life, the complaint says.

When he died, Arthur V. Gibbear Sr. left behind his incapacitated wife, Pauline Gibbear, and his three children – Mark A. Gibbear, Arthur Gibbear Jr. and Linda Feltner – who incurred funeral and burial expenses of $7,008.78.

At the time of the incident, Ide Management Group and Mark Ide Management Group operated and managed Edwardsville Nursing and Rehab Center. Mark Ide was a 50 percent owner of the management groups, while Johns Davis was also a 50 percent owner of the management groups, the complaint says.

Defendant Omega Health Care provided care and treatment for people living in Edwardsville Nursing Home, and OHI was a subsidiary of Omega, according to the complaint.

In the seven-count complaint, Mark A. Gibbear is seeking a judgment of more than $200,000, plus a reimbursement for funeral and burial expenses, punitive damages, attorneys' fees and costs.

David W. Terry of Terry Law Firm in St. Louis and Paul Schoen of Schoen, Walton, Telken and Foster in East St. Louis will be representing him.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-1107.

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