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Suit Filed After Blind 89-Year-Old Nursing Home Resident Chokes on Candy

89-year-old resident, Christine Young, of Symphony of Morgan Park died in March 2015 after choking on a peppermint candy.  Young was a blind resident of the nursing home that has had issues eating solid food and therefore required supervision while she was eating.  A wrongful death lawsuit has recently been filed by “Young’s niece and the executor of her estate” against the nursing home. 

The suit alleges “a violation of the Nursing Home Care Act and common law negligence” and has named the director of nursing and the assistant director of nursing.  The lawsuit claims that the nursing home, “failed to supervise [Young] while she was eating to observe, identify and prevent choking incidents,” “failed to oversee the comprehensive assessment of [Young’s] needs” and “failed to develop an up-to-date resident care plan.” 

According to the lawsuit, the day she died, Young choked on the candy, developed difficulty breathing, was unable to cough, and suffered a full cardiac arrest.  It has been noted that Young had a Ziploc bag of candy by her bedside on the day she died and that, being blind, she was unable to get a piece by herself.  The suit does not state if she was still able to find a piece by herself or if she was given one by an employee. 

The nearly 300-bed nursing home “has been cited for 36 health deficiencies over the past three years, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Nursing Home Compare website.” 

A nursing home representative has not commented on the suit.  Young lived at the nursing home for over five months and the staff should have known that she needed additional supervision and “extensive assistance” with daily activities, according to the lawsuit.


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