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Man's Family Sues Joliet Nursing Home After Assault By Other Patient

JOLIET, Ill. (CBS) -- The family of a Joliet nursing home resident is suing the facility, alleging it failed to prevent the abuse of as many as two dozen patients.

As WBBM Newsradio's Regine Schlesinger reports, the lawsuit was filed by the family of William A. Kahle, 47, a mentally impaired man who lived at the Hillcrest Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio's Regine Schlesinger reports


In September 2011, Kahle had been living at the nursing home for more than a year, when another resident allegedly burned him with a cigarette.

Kahle's attorney, Steven Levin, said Kahle wasn't severely hurt. But regardless, he said, the nursing home was negligent.

"The nursing home had a resident there that is known to be dangerous to the other residents, and abusive, and he burned our client," Levin said.

Levin said Illinois state records show the resident involved in Kahle's case had sexually, physically or verbally assaulted as many as two dozen residents of the home.

In September 2011, Kahle, who had been there for more than a year at the time, was allegedly burned by another resident and the nursing home failed to report the incident to Department of Public Health. Kahle's father, William W. Kahle, filed a complaint with that agency that reportedly found another resident was responsible for assaulting nearly two dozen others.

"The (IDPH) investigation also revealed that between May and October a 26-year-old male who suffers from bipolar disorder and ADHD, sexually physically or mentally abused at least 23 other residents," Kahle's attorney, Steven M. Levin, said.

Previously, Hillcrest settled a lawsuit with the family who had died of alleged negligence at the facility in 1999, the Joliet-Herald News reported via the Sun-Times Media Wire.

In 2001, two patients – Christopher Matejka and Jason Richey – used passes to leave the grounds and ended up stabbing another man, Henri "Jay" Baker – to death in his apartment in Homer Glen, the wire reported.

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