Oven-Like Conditions Lead to the Death of 3 Women in Chicago
Senior Housing Facility Residents Reported Oven-like Conditions and families noted thermostat readings of 102 degrees Fahrenheit.
Families entrust senior living centers to help their loved ones complete daily tasks, administer health care services and maintain their general wellbeing. As seniors age, these facilities offer families peace of mind knowing that someone is catering to their needs.
However, that is not always the case. A seemingly safe, nurturing environment turns dangerous or even fatal when the facilities employees and management neglect the needs of their residents.
As recently reported in the Chicago Tribune, three women were found unresponsive in their units in James Sneider Apartments, a building for seniors and people with disabilities in Rogers Park.
On Saturday, May 14, officials from the fire department and Chicago’s Department of Buildings and Family & Support Services were called to the building after receiving several complaints of hot temperatures inside the building.
Residents complained about the heat to building management in the week leading up to the women’s deaths. Some residents contacted their alderman who instructed the building manager to shut off the heat and turn on air conditioning. However, the building cited the city’s heat ordinance which “requires the building to remain heated until June 1.” The ordinance does not require the building to keep the heat on when the external temperature is warm enough. While management eventually shut off the heat, the damage had already been done. The internal temperature of the building was too much for residents to withstand.
Loved ones who arrived on the scene to grieve their lost family members noted temperatures at 102 degrees on the thermostat. Neighbors and family members are now demanding justice to prevent such inhumane conditions from persisting. They are calling on the building’s manager and all landlords to maintain cool living spaces during excessively hot spells to provide habitable spaces.
As temperatures continue to heat up, many are vulnerable to this risk. According to a report conducted by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), those at the greatest risk to heat-related illness and death include infants and children, people 65 years and older, people who are overweight or have existing medical conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease, people who are socially isolated and the poor. Further, heat-related deaths occur most frequently in urban areas.
Protecting Your Loved Ones
It’s difficult to imagine the horror of losing a loved one in a place meant to be home. The expert attorneys at Hurley McKenna & Mertz have decades of experience to handle such neglect as they relate to the unforeseen failure of residential building managers and nursing homes.
If you or a loved one has suffered neglect because of inhabitable conditions, you should speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible to ensure your legal rights are protected.
Hurley McKenna & Mertz has successfully represented thousands of injured individuals and families who have suffered because of negligence in residential buildings, Senior assisted living facilities and nursing homes. To discuss your potential case, contact us today for a free consultation.