Stearns Nursing and Rehab named in wrongful death complaint

Kelly Holleran Jun. 6, 2012, 4:00pm

The daughter of a recently deceased man claims her father died after staff at a nursing home failed to adequately care for him.

Cynthia L. Kimberlin alleges her father, Lester F. Yates Jr., was living at defendant Stearns Nursing and Rehabilitation Center when he developed blood in his urine in December 2010. In turn, Yates's physician ordered a urinalysis, which revealed that Yates's urine contained a bacteria, according to the complaint filed May 23 in Madison County Circuit Court.

Stearns Nursing and Rehabilitation Center first learned of the results of the urinalysis on Jan. 3, 2011, but failed to inform a physician's assistant of the results, the suit states. It was not until Jan. 10, 2011, that the physician's assistant learned of the results. At that time, she ordered an antibiotic, Augmentin, to treat the problem, the complaint says. In addition, she started him on an anti-fungal medication because of yeast also found in his urine, Kimberlin alleges.

The yeast, however, had gone untreated for too long, causing Yates to develop excoriation on his buttocks and coccyx area, according to the complaint. In turn, Yates was admitted to Christian Hospital on Feb. 16, 2011, for the treatment of a urinary tract infection, renal failure and a decubitus ulcer, the suit states.

Yates underwent surgery to relieve his conditions and was discharged from the hospital in February 2011. From there, he was transferred to a long-term care facility where he lived until his death on Aug. 22, 2011, the complaint says.

Yates died of sepsis and renal failure, Kimberlin alleges.

In her complaint, Kimberlin names Stearns Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Aurora Cares doing business as Tara Cares, Stearns Property Company and Tara Midwest as defendants. The defendants owned the nursing homes where Yates lived.

She says the defendants negligently failed to notify her father's treating physician of the results of his urinalysis in a timely manner and failed to immediately inform his physician of his deteriorating condition. They also negligently failed to provide Yates with the proper treatment, failed to protect him from neglect and failed to provide sufficient staff to care for him, according to the complaint.

Before his death, Yates experienced repeated pain and suffering and endured unnecessary anguish and distress, the suit states.

Due to Yates's death, his six children have lost their father's companionship and society and incurred funeral and burial costs, the complaint says.

In her 10-count complaint, Kimberlin is seeking a judgment of more than $500,000, plus attorney's fees and costs.

Mary E. Massa of Becker, Schroader and Chapman in Granite City will be representing her.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 12-L-722.

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