Nursing home seeks to transfer wrongful death suit

By Heather Isringhausen Gvillo | Nov 3, 2015


A Jefferson County nursing home seeks to transfer a lawsuit alleging a patient died after falling several times.

Defendant Petersen Management Company, doing business as White Oak Rehabilitation and Health Care Center, filed a motion to transfer venue on Sept. 11 through attorney James Garrison of Boyle Brasher in Belleville.

The defendant argues that any alleged wrongful acts and omissions occurred in Jefferson County, where the defendant’s facility is located.

Petersen Management also argues that it does not conduct business, does not maintain a registered office and is not a resident of Madison County, which is where the suit was filed.

Plaintiff Cheryl Rylander, administrator of the estate of Sandra Rylander, responded to the motion to transfer venue on Oct. 15 through attorney Lanny Darr of Alton. She argues that she obtained information from the defendant’s website stating that it operates a facility in Collinsville, making Madison County an appropriate venue for the case.

Rylander requests the court to stay proceedings until the allegations of business activity in Madison County can be verified through discovery and depositions.

According to Rylander’s July 22 complaint, the decedent became a resident of the nursing home in Mount Vernon in August 2014. The plaintiff claims the defendant knew at all times that the 76-year-old was at high risk for failing and suffered from Alzheimer’s dementia.

While there, Rylander claims a bad alarm was installed on the decedent’s bed on Sept. 14, 2014, and was often inoperable.

Rylander says the decedent allegedly suffered falls on Nov. 22, 2014, Dec. 9, 24 and 25, 2014, and Jan. 17, but was unable to alert anyone. On Jan. 18, she was found face-down, bleeding and unresponsive in her room. She was pronounced dead two days later, the suit states.

The defendants are being sued for abuse and neglect by failing to provide adequate supervision, failing to keep Sandra Rylander from falling and in sight, failing to provide an adequate alarm system, failing to ensure the alarms were functioning and failing to develop an up-to-date plan of care.

Rylander seeks damages of more than $50,000, plus costs.

Madison County Circuit Court case number 15-L-922

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