Helia Healthcare Services sued over resident's alleged dehydration, loss of cognitive skills

By The Madison County Record | Dec 29, 2014

A woman has filed suit against the healthcare provider where she alleges an elderly woman suffered from various conditions, including dehydration, that led to her death.

Ellen Ignatius alleges Dorothy Hughes was living at defendant Helia Healthcare Services from October 2012 through December 2012 where employees neglected her.

During her time at Helia, Hughes suffered from dehydration, loss of cognitive skills, loss of social skills, depression, urinary tract infection, pneumonia, malnutrition, weight loss and injuries from falling, according to the complaint filed Dec. 5 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

The combined injuries led to Hughes' death, the suit states.

Because of Hughes' death, Ignatius incurred medical, funeral and burial costs, the complaint says.

Ignatius blames Helia for contributing to Hughes' death, saying employees at the home failed to protect Hughes from neglect, failed to make specific recommendations about what care Hughes required to receive her highest level of independent functioning, failed to revise recommendations and failed to ensure that its staff was familiar with its rights and responsibilities, among other negligent acts.

Ignatius seeks a judgment of more than $400,000, plus attorney fees and costs.

Attorney Thomas O. Falb, of Williamson, Webster, Falb and Glisson in Alton, will represent Ignatius.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 14-L-780.

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