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Can a Home Nursing Care Company Be Liable for a Wrongful Death?

 Posted on May 28, 2024 in Nursing Home Abuse

Winnebago County Wrongful Death LawyerIn Illinois, in-home care for elderly and disabled people is a critical service offered by many home nursing care companies. These companies employ healthcare professionals to ensure that people who need assistance can receive it in the comfort of his or her own home. However, when the unthinkable happens, and a patient dies due to the actions or inactions of a caregiver, the question arises: Can the home nursing care company be held liable for wrongful death? Depending on the circumstances the answer is often yes, depending on the particular circumstances. If such an event has happened to your loved one, a lawyer can help.

Understanding Wrongful Death in Illinois

Wrongful death is a legal concept that allows the family members of a deceased person to file a lawsuit against the parties responsible for the death. Under Illinois law, for a wrongful death claim to be successful, the plaintiffs must prove the death happened because of negligence or intentional actions of the defendant. In the context of home nursing care, this often involves scrutinizing the conduct of the company’s employees and the company itself.

Forms of Negligence Leading to Wrongful Death

Here are forms of negligence that may lead to a wrongful death occurring in-home nursing care, including:

  • Failure to provide proper care – This can include not administering prescribed medications, failing to monitor vital signs properly, or neglecting basic needs such as hygiene and nutrition. If a caregiver fails to meet the standard of care expected in the industry, the company may be held liable for any resulting death.

  • Inadequate training and staffing – Sometimes, the root cause of a wrongful death lies in the company’s hiring practices and training programs. For instance, if a home nursing care company fails to properly vet and train their employees, the company could be held accountable for any harm those employees’ cause. For example, if a caregiver is not properly trained to handle emergencies, a patient’s untimely death due to improper response could lead to a wrongful death claim against the company.

  • Intentional harm inflicted by a caregiver – While rare, there are cases where a caregiver intentionally injures a patient. Whether it stems from malice or mental instability, if a caregiver’s deliberate actions lead to a patient’s death, the nursing home care company may be held responsible. In these cases, the company may face severe legal consequences, including punitive damages, especially if it can be shown that the company ignored red flags or failed to act on prior complaints about the caregiver.

In Illinois, a doctrine known as “respondeat superior” often applies in wrongful death cases involving home nursing care companies. This legal principle holds that employers can be held liable for the actions of their employees if those actions occur within the scope of his or her employment. Therefore, if a caregiver employed by a nursing care company causes a wrongful death while performing his or her job duties, the company itself can be held liable.

Contact Our Chicago, Wrongful Death Attorney

If your loved one passed away due to the negligence of a home nursing care company, our St. Claire, IL wrongful death lawyer is ready to help you. Contact our office at 312-535-4625 for a free consultation. 

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