Nursing homes blamed in resident's death

Kelly Holleran Jul. 28, 2010, 6:51am

The wife of a recently deceased man claims he died after developing a colon infection at a nursing home.

Katheryn Jent filed a lawsuit July 6 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Bridgemark Healthcare, Helia Healthcare of Energy and Helia Healthcare of Benton.

Katheryn Jent claims her husband, Earl G. Jent, resided at Helia Healthcare in Benton from June 4 through June 12, 2009, then at Helia Healthcare of Energy from June 12 through June 18, 2009.

During his stay at the nursing homes, Earl G. Jent developed a decubitus ulcer on his back and experienced a recurring C-diff infection, which is an infection of the colon caused by bacteria, according to the complaint.

Although Earl G. Jent displayed signs of a C-diff infection -- poor eating and diarrhea -- staff failed to send him to he emergency room until June 18, where he ultimately died, the suit states.

Before his death, Earl G. Jent experienced pain and suffering, lost his normal life and incurred medical costs.

After his death, Earl G. Jent's survivors incurred funeral and medical costs, the complaint says.

In her complaint, Katheryn Jent accuses staff at the defendants' facilities of causing her husband's death, saying they failed to timely monitor his physical and mental condition, failed to recognize that he was developing decubitus ulcers and failed to recognize that he was having a recurrent C-diff infection.

In addition, staff at the nursing homes negligently failed to recognize that Earl G. Jent was at an increased risk for a C-diff infection because he had previously had one, failed to recognize that he was having poor intake, failed to advise his physician of his poor intake and failed to recognize that treatment for his conditions was not working at the nursing home.

In her two-count complaint, Katheryn Jent seeks compensatory damages of more than $50,000 and punitive damages of more than $50,000, plus any damages prescribed by the Illinois Wrongful Death Act.

Thomas O. Falb of Williamson, Webster, Falb and Glisson in Alton will be representing her.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-335.

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