Lawsuit alleges Freeport nursing home committed ‘gross negligence’ in man’s death

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FREEPORT, Ill. (WTVO) — A local family is suing a Freeport nursing home, saying the facility is responsible for the death of her 56-year-old father.

The family of Keith Printz, who was a resident at Pearl Pavilion, 900 Kiwanis Dr, is suing the nursing home for failing to give him life-saving medication, they claim.

“They ignored him and they just left him in his room to die,” said his daughter, Jennifer Miskell.

In October 2019, Printz was sent to the long-term care facility for rehabilitation for his legs. Three days later, he suffered a pulmonary embolism and was rushed to the hospital.

“The ER doctor had been working on him for over an hour and he could not understand why his blood was so thick. Anything they gave him, it wouldn’t help,” Miskell said.

Miskell is suing Pearl Pavilion, claiming they did not administer his prescribed blood thinners, according to a lawsuit.

On his death certificate, the original cause of death was listed as “medical,” but was changed to “grossly negligent medical care” after an investigation by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH).

Stephenson County Deputy Coroner Montana Bartell said, “It has to be proven that it was negligence, and that’s something that our office can’t always prove, without the Illinois Department of Public Health to go ahead and do that investigation, so this is a very rare situation.”

The investigation was conducted after Miskell contacted the State. Her attorney, Jaime Koziol-Delaney, says Printz’s death was part of a “systemic failure.”

“The IDPH has cited Pearl Pavilion dozens of times over the last two years,” Koziol-Delaney said.

Miskell says the lawsuit is for her dad, and says she wants justice.

“My dad was a big teddy bear. He really had a heart of gold, he loved his family so much,” she said.

According to the IDPH, in May 2021 alone, the facility was cited over 13 times, including failure to give requested fluids to a resident with a history of dehydration, and ensuring accurate documentation was present in a resident’s electronic health records.

Pearl Pavilion representatives declined to comment for this story.

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