Physical and Chemical Restraints

Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys Representing Chicago Residents

Sick personPhysical restraints include anything that prevents someone from moving. Chemical restraints are psychotropic drugs used to control someone's behavior. Nursing homes in Illinois must comply with the federal Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987, which restricts them from using physical and chemical restraints on residents, except when the restraint is needed to treat a medical condition. In some cases, physical and chemical restraints used on a nursing home resident result in serious injuries. At Moll Law Group, our Chicago nursing home abuse lawyers are available to investigate your situation and determine whether the use of physical and chemical restraints may have been unlawful. We are available to pursue a claim or lawsuit for compensation on your behalf if your loved one or you have been subject to the improper use of restraints.

Physical and Chemical Restraints

In some cases, physical or chemical restraints are necessary for medical reasons. However, in many cases, chemical restraints are not medically necessary and are used solely to control the behavior of a nursing home resident, even if no diagnosis supports their use. Misusing psychotropic drugs to control a resident is a new, subtle form of elder abuse. Anti-psychotic drugs in particular can have a number of serious and harmful side effects, including brain injury, dehydration, chemical dependence, malnutrition, and skin conditions. Used improperly in certain combinations with other drugs, they might cause a wrongful death.

A lack of regulation contributes to the misuse of psychotropic drugs as chemical restraints. The Illinois Nursing Home Safety Task Force has recommended that a policy be developed to curb the inappropriate use of psychotropic drugs in nursing homes. It found that many prescriptions are written by doctors who have not seen the resident to whom they are being administered. Moreover, the Task Force found that nursing homes would administer these drugs without consulting a doctor first.

You may pursue a claim or file a lawsuit for compensation for the inappropriate use of physical and chemical restraints under the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act and common law theories, such as negligence, negligence per se, negligent hiring, negligent training, medical malpractice, or tortious assault and battery.

For example, if a nursing home hires staff members and trains them to use psychotropic drugs on residents without consulting a doctor as a form of control, and then a resident suffers serious side effects or dies, you may seek to recover compensation from the nursing home under both the Nursing Home Care Act and a negligent training cause of action. If a doctor is consulted and provides care to the resident that falls below the accepted standards and practices of other similar doctors, the doctor may be liable for medical malpractice.

If negligence is the basis of a lawsuit, a plaintiff must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff, the defendant breached that duty, there was actual and proximate (legal) causation, and injuries resulted. If a nursing home resident dies due to the negligent use of chemical or physical restraints, the personal representative of the resident's estate may file a wrongful death claim. The personal representative may be a spouse of the resident or an adult child of the resident.

Retain an Experienced Chicago Lawyer for a Nursing Home Abuse Claim

If you or a loved one suffered injuries due to physical or chemical restraints, the Chicago attorneys at Moll Law Group are available to submit a claim or file a lawsuit for compensation on your behalf. We are committed to fighting for the rights of injured individuals in Schaumburg, Naperville, Wheaton, and communities throughout Cook County. Billions of dollars have been recovered in cases in which we have been involved. Contact us online or call us at 312-462-1700 to set up a free appointment with an injury attorney.