Nursing Home Attack by Another Resident Leads to Wrongful Death Lawsuit

A nursing home wrongful death lawsuit has been filed by the daughter of a woman who died after being attacked by another resident who had a history of violence and who had made prior threats against her mother. The lawsuit alleges that the nursing home’s negligence allowed the attack to occur.

The lawsuit was filed in Cook County Circuit Court last week by Patricia Giola, following the 2006 death of her mother, Mary Ann Flynn. The complaint names Lexington Health Care Center, as well as the other resident who attacked her mother, Vonda Messino.

On November 24, 2006, Messino attacked Flynn at the nursing home, causing multiple bruises and a stroke, which the daughter alleges resulted in Flynn’s death.

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According to the nursing home lawsuit, Messino had repeatedly threatened Flynn prior to the attack in the presence of nursing home staff. The complaint also alleges that the nursing home knew or should have known that Messino had a propensity for physical violence and that they failed to protect Flynn from the other resident.

In a surprising number of cases throughout the United States, nursing home violence between residents has resulted in death or serious injuries which can have a substantial impact on an innocent victim’s quality of life.

In July 2007, researchers at Cornell University in New York City published a report on resident against resident violence at nursing homes and long-term care facilities. After reviewing police reports, the researchers found that most cases of nursing home abuse involving other residents were triggered by fights over amenities, unwanted touching or intrusion into another’s room.

In many cases, the prior health status of a resident and other behavior can foreshadow potential acts of violence against others in the nursing home. In addition, dementia and confusion can also increase the risk of nursing home resident violence.


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