A whistleblower is defined as a person who exposes information or activity that is deemed illegal, unethical, or incorrect within an organization, public or private. In the case of uncovering or revealing abuse or neglect in nursing homes, whistleblowers would be a welcome thing. However, that is often not the case for the nursing homes who employ these people. The Daily Journal reports on a former nurse awarded several million in a lawsuit against a nursing home that terminated her after exposing abuse and neglect.
Katrina Wesemann was awarded $5,277,891 by a jury in her lawsuit against Heritage Enterprises, Inc and its location in Dwight.
Wesemann was employed as a nurse at Heritage Health in Dwight from March 2011 through October 2012. Wesemann was allegedly fired for reporting abuse and neglect against residents.
One of Wesemann’s lawyers stated: “Ms. Wesemann refused to follow the director of nursing’s orders to ‘drop a pill’ or double-dose agitated residents with anti-anxiety medications, and refused to delete or omit records of suspicious injuries on residents.”
Wesemann was awarded money for lost wages and emotional distress. The additional $5 million was awarded as punitive damages after there was extensive evidence that management employees failed to report and hid instances of abuse and neglect. Management then encouraged employees to do the same.
Heritage Enterprises, Inc., operates or owns 47 facilities, the majority of which are located in Illinois.
Have you or a loved one been the victim of abuse or neglect while staying in a nursing home? You may have a case. Let the experienced attorneys at the law offices of Schenk Smith fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Call today.