Madison - St. Clair Record

Monday, February 24, 2020

Woman says Belleville nursing home to blame for father's death

By Kelly Holleran | Mar 6, 2013


The daughter of a recently deceased man claims a Belleville nursing home failed to properly care for her father, allowing him to fall and to sustain a broken hip, which allegedly contributed to his death six months later.

Sonja Harris filed a lawsuit Feb. 1 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Belleville Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center.

In her complaint, Sonja Harris alleges her father, Jack Harris, was living at The Lincoln Home, a nursing home run by Belleville Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, when he fell and broke his hip on March 24, 2011. Eventually, the broken hip led to Jack Harris’s death in December of 2011, according to the complaint.

However, the fall never should have occurred if staff at the Lincoln Home had taken proper precautions, the suit states. For instance, even though staff was aware that Jack Harris was at risk for falling, they failed to provide him with a low bed and bed rails and failed to utilize a bed alarm, the complaint says. They also failed to provide him adequate supervision while he was being transported from his bed, failed to answer his call lights in a timely manner, failed to monitor Jack Harris to prevent avoidable falls, failed to provide adequate staff training and failed to provide adequate numbers of staff, Sonja Harris claims.

Before her father’s death, Jack Harris suffered severe bruising, emotional pain, anxiety and distress. In addition, he became lame and incurred medical costs, according to the complaint.

In her complaint, Sonja Harris is seeking a judgment of more than $200,000, plus attorneys’ fees and costs.

Ronald A. Roth of Roth Law Offices in Granite City will be representing her.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 13-L-61.

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