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Neglect Leads to Hyperthermia and Death

Published on September 19th, 2017

The News-Gazette reported on another tragic wrongful death caused by neglect at a nursing home.  Sonya J. Kington, a resident at Champaign County Nursing Home, was found dead in the home’s courtyard on June 6, a Saturday when the high temperature reached 87 degrees.  Kingston’s body was found in an exterior courtyard. Ms. Kington was lying in direct sunlight, her skin was “very hot to touch” and she had vomit on both sides of her mouth.

According to an investigation by the coroner’s office, video footage from inside the nursing home appeared to show Ms. Kington entering the courtyard at 1:47 p.m. It isn’t until about 5:15 p.m. that staff members are seen searching for her.  The report noted that the investigation “could not account for Ms. Kington’s whereabouts” during the more-than-three-hour period

“Staff is seen visibly shaken at 5:30 p.m. when it appears they have located Ms. Kington unresponsive in the courtyard,” says the report by Deputy Coroner Tracy Brookshire.

The report said that a nurse and certified nursing assistant on duty at the time violated the nursing home’s door alarm policy and policies for providing adequate supervision to residents in the courtyard.

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