Nursing home contests $50,000 fine for resident's death after lift breaks

An Illinois nursing home fined $50,000 for a mechanical lift failure that reportedly caused a resident's death plans to fight back against the fine, according to local reports.

Franklin Grove Living and Rehabilitation Center in Franklin Grove, IL was cited by the Illinois Department of Public Health after the sling of a mechanical lift being used to move a resident into her bed broke last June. The resident fell breaking both of her legs, which caused her condition to deteriorate and contributed to her death four days later, according to the department's report.

An investigation into the incident found a support loop on the lift's sling was frayed, causing it to break. The health department's investigation found previous sling malfunctions experienced by other residents, most of which were considered by staff to be “near misses” because they did not result in injury.

In the wake of the incident, the facility has inspected and replaced slings, and created a policy to examining slings for any issues after they have gone through the laundry.

Jessica Rogers, administrator for Franklin Grove, told SaukValley.com this week that the facility is cooperating with state health officials, but does not agree with everything in the health department's report and has requested a hearing to contest the fine.

The hearing date has not been set, and the facility has not paid the $50,000 fine, Rogers said, adding “we try to give the best care that we can.”