Nursing home resident alleges staff failed to do anything about her broken leg

Andrea Dearden Oct. 28, 2010, 3:13am

An East St. Louis woman accuses a Belleville nursing home of breaking her leg multiple times and then failing to do anything about it.

Lillie Avant filed a lawsuit against The Lincoln Home Inc. and Weiss Management Group Inc. on Oct. 12 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

The Lincoln Home is a long-term care facility in Belleville. Weiss Management is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations at the nursing home.

Avant says the alleged incident began the morning of May 31, when Lincoln Home staff members attempted to turn and reposition her onto her right side in bed. At least three employees allegedly heard loud popping sounds and saw Avant immediately grab her leg and cry out in pain during the move.

Avant says the popping was the sound made by her femur and knee fracturing as staff repositioned her. Despite the obvious signs of broken bones and her complaints of severe pain, Avant says no one notified her doctor or her legal representative about the incident.

According to the lawsuit, Avant's son arrived at Lincoln Home later that afternoon and saw his mother "moaning and groaning in pain." Avant's daughter went to the nursing home about five hours later but found that her mother had still not received any medical care for her leg.

Avant says an order for x-rays on her hip and leg were received late that night. The next morning, the woman says she refused to go to her kidney dialysis treatment because she was in so much pain.

Despite her continued complaints about pain in her leg, Lincoln Home staff allegedly gave her pain medication and noted she got "no relief" from them.

According to the complaint, Avant was transferred from Lincoln Home to Memorial Hospital the night of June 1 to be treated for multiple leg and knee fractures. On the same evening, a representative from Lincoln Home allegedly sent a representative to Avant's hospital room to get her to sign a statement about the incident at a time when the patient was heavily medicated.

Avant accuses Lincoln Home and Weiss Management of more than 20 negligent acts and violations of the IIllinois Nursing Home Care Act. She is asking for more than $50,000 from both defendants.

Attorney Paul W. Johnson of Belleville is representing Avant. They demand a jury trial.

St. Clair County Circuit Court Case No. 10-L-534

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