The brother and sister of a recently deceased man have filed suit against Southern Illinois Community Support Services, claiming the staff did not provide adequate care for him and as a result, he died from complications during hip surgery to correct personal injuries he suffered in a fall while taking a shower.

According to the suit filed on February 20 in Illinois’ St. Clair County Circuit Court by Donna K. Bickl and Charles E. Adams, Richard Allen Taylor, a 54-year-old profoundly mentally retarded man incapable of caring for himself, died in Belleville on August 19 after surgery to repair a fractured left hip.

Taylor was living in SICSSI when he suffered the injury to his hip, according to the suit.

The suit says that Taylor was showering on August 14 without the aid of a strap in a shower chair when he fell and fractured his hip, resulting in his hospitalization and surgery.

The suit claims that before Taylor’s death, he experienced severe pain, suffering, disfigurement, lost normal life, and medical costs.

Bickl and Adams claim that Taylor’s death caused his surviving relatives to experience grief, sorrow, mental suffering, lost society, deprivation of companionship, deprivation of love, and deprivation of affection.

The suit alleges negligence on the part of SICSII for failure to provide sufficient staff, failure to properly strap Taylor into his shower chair, failure to provide proper oversight and supervision of Taylor’s shower activity, failure to change Taylor’s care plan to reflect his diminished capability of performing daily activities, experiencing extreme turnover causing deteriorated staff quality, hiring staff incapable of providing required care to Taylor, failure to provide an appropriate shower chair, and failure to use gait belts around Taylor’s torso for him to safely shower.

Bickl and Adams seek damages greater than the minimum jurisdictional limits of St. Clair County Circuit Court from the four-count suit.

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