Lack of Oxygen

A jury compensated a resident and her family for neglect and abuse suffered at Providence Palos Heights nursing home. The $5.5 million verdict is the largest nursing home verdict in Illinois history. The family of patient Bettye Patterson filed suit against owner/operator Providence Operations, LLC, for negligence and wrongful death.

The facility admitted Bettye Patterson as a resident to receive specialized nursing care for various pre-existing conditions. Doctors ordered supplemental oxygen through a nasal cannula 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  However, on October 16, 2016, Bettye’s daughters visited and discovered Bettye was not receiving oxygen and was in medical distress. Her daughters searched for a nurse to assist their mother, but no trained staff could be found.

After struggling to breathe for twenty minutes without supplemental oxygen, Bettye passed away.

Medical experts, Dr. Robert Schoene and Dr. Sabine von Preyss-Freidman, said the last twenty minutes of Bettye’s life were agonizingly painful, and physiologically the experience would be equivalent to drowning.

After denying the allegations of wrongdoing for over five years, Bettye’s case against Providence was set for trial in 2023. Before the case headed to the jury, the defendant admitted liability and that their negligence caused Bettye’s death, and the jury awarded the Estate of Bettye Patterson a $5.5 million verdict for Bettye’s pain and suffering, as well as the family’s grief, sorrow, and mental suffering, and their loss of society.

“The unfortunate truth is 94% of our country’s nursing homes don’t meet minimum staffing guidelines, putting profits over people,” said Steve Malman, founder of Malman Law. “We are proud to have obtained this compensation for Bettye’s family and we hope this verdict demonstrates the significant need for improvement in staffing and training in the nursing home industry.”



KIM TRIPLETT, as Independent Administrator of the Estate of BETTYE PATTERSON, Deceased, Plaintiff, versus PROVIDENCE OPERATIONS, LLC, an Illinois Limited License Company d/b/a PROVIDENCE PALOS HEIGHTS, Defendant.

Case: 2018 L 004453

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