Personal Injury

Family sues Illinois nursing home for wrongful death

When the Hopley family moved 51-year-old Bruce Hopley into Golden Moments Senior Care Center in Jacksonville, Ill., in late August of 2006, they alerted staff that he was “severely diabetic,” and that he had required emergency hospitalization on numerous occasions for erratic blood sugar levels and seizures. Nineteen days later, just an hour after staff documented high blood sugar levels in his blood, Mr. Hopley was found dead, according to a story by the Jacksonville (Illinois) Journal-Courier.

Jennifer Hopley, Mr. Hopley’s daughter and administrator of her father’s estate, filed an 18-count wrongful death lawsuit against the nursing home, two doctors, a nurse, and other facility staff. According to the story, the suit claims negligence in Mr. Hopley’s death for not properly monitoring his blood sugar levels and subjecting the patient to “great mental and physical pain prior to his death.”

The lawsuit also alleges that the nursing home created dangerous conditions for residents by employing staff at levels below the national average for similar long-term facilities. The lawsuit contends that Golden Moments also was under capitalized and that there are state and federal tax liens are against the facility exceeding $250,000, according to the report.

According to the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse (NDIC), an information dissemination service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), diabetes was the seventh leading cause of death in 2006. Overall, the risk for death among people with diabetes is about twice that of people without diabetes of similar age.