Nursing home blamed for resident's sepsis

By Kelly Holleran | Dec 7, 2009

A woman died after employees at an Illinois nursing home allowed her pressure sores to deteriorate, causing sepsis to flow throughout her blood, a man claims in a lawsuit.

Steven Steiner filed a lawsuit Nov. 30 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Caseyville Nursing and Rehabilitation Center and Caseyville Property.

Steven Steiner claims Anderson Hospital admitted Theresa Mary Steiner on Dec. 6, 2008, after she began experiencing abdominal bleeding.

On Dec. 12, 2008, Caseyville Nursing and Rehabilitation Center admitted Theresa Steiner as its patient, according to the complaint. At the time of her admission, Theresa Steiner had three stage II pressure sores on her buttocks and one pressure sore on each of her heels, the suit states.

However, by the time of her discharge on Dec. 19, 2008, Theresa Steiner had three stage IV pressure sores on her buttocks and multiple pressure sores on her heels, the complaint says.

"Steiner sustained personal injuries, including, but not limited to, development and deterioration of her pressure sores on her buttocks and bilateral heels which, in turn, led to Steiner developing sepsis throughout her bloodstream," the suit states. "On December 19, 2008, Theresa Steiner was hospitalized at Memorial Hospital in Belleville, Illinois, where she subsequently died on January 7, 2009, due to sepsis and acute respiratory failure."

Before her death, Theresa Steiner experienced severe pain and suffering, mental anguish, emotional distress and loss of dignity, Steven Steiner claims.

Steven Steiner blames the defendants for a number of negligent acts, including their failure to properly screen Theresa Steiner before admitting her, their failure to have an adequate wound care nurse on staff, their failure to develop an appropriate plan to treat Theresa Steiner's pressure sores, their failure to advise Theresa Steiner's physician of the deterioration of her pressure sores and their failure to adopt appropriate policies to treat pressure sores.

In the six-count complaint, Steven Steiner is seeking a judgment of more than $300,000, plus attorney's fees, costs and other relief the court deems just.

William P. Gavin of Gavin Law Firm in Belleville will be representing him.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-637.

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