Eunice Smith Home responds to lawsuit after being sued over resident's death

Christina Stueve Dec. 15, 2011, 4:20am


Alton Memorial Hospital answered a complaint filed against it, denying allegations that Eunice Smith Home is responsible for a resident's death within two weeks of being admitted to the facility.

George Perica, administrator of Nick Perica's estate, filed a lawsuit Oct. 26 in Madison County Circuit Court against Alton Memorial Hospital, doing business as Eunice Smith Home in Alton.

BJC Healthcare, owner of Eunice Smith Home, is also named as a defendant.

George Perica says Nick Perica was admitted to Eunice Smith Home on Aug. 17, 2010, after hospitalization.

Thirteen days later, Perica was allegedly lethargic and moved to the hospital. According to the complaint, Perica was found with "multiple pressure ulcers to his coccyx, buttocks and both heels; weight loss and dehydration."

George Perica says Eunice Smith Home had a duty to exercise ordinary care and not cause its patient, Nick Perica, injury or health problems. The suit alleges the College Avenue facility and its parent company were negligent for failing to provide adequate medical care or health assessments to properly diagnose the ulcers or dehydration and failing to tell Perica's doctors or family members about his significant weight loss.

The defendant also denies these allegations in its Dec. 7 answer.

George Perica is asking for more than $50,000 in damages to compensate for the alleged injuries leading to Nick Perica's death, along with the loss to the man's wife and children.

Attorney Robert H. Gregory of East Alton is representing George Perica.

Theodore MacDonald, Jr. and Christian Willenborg of Hepler Broom filed their appearance as attorneys for defendant Alton Memorial Hospital on Dec. 7.

Madison County Circuit Judge Dennis Ruth is assigned to the case.

Madison County Circuit Court Case No. 11-L-1101

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