FOREST CITY --- A Winnebago County nursing home is facing two lawsuits from families of residents who say neglect and abuse by staff led to their deaths, including one action brought by a Shell Rock woman.
The latest lawsuit against Timely Mission Nursing Home in Buffalo Center was filed two weeks ago in Winnebago County District Court by the family of Virginia Olthoff, who died in February 2018.
Olthoff is the mother of Patricia Blank of Shell Rock, who testified before the Senate Financing Committee in Washington, D.C., in March 2019 about neglect in the nursing home.
Olthoff's death, as well as the death of another unidentified Timely Mission resident on the same day, led to a $77,462 federal fine against the facility in August 2018.
The family of Darlene Weaver, a Timely Mission resident who died in June 2017, filed a lawsuit against the facility in November of that year.
A trial is set for March 2020 in the Weaver lawsuit, but the nursing home is seeking a postponement.
Court documents indicate the Weaver family could be asking the jury to award them several million dollars in both punitive and compensatory damages.
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A state report says before Olthoff was taken to Mercy Medical Center-North Iowa on Feb. 27, 2018, she was crying, moaning, screaming and bleating, but was given only a nonprescription pain reliever.
Officials say Olthoff may not have had water several days before being admitted to the hospital.
Although Timely Mission staff members couldn't get a blood pressure reading or feel her pulse, they waited nearly three hours before requesting an ambulance to take her to the hospital, according to officials.
Olthoff died after being returned to Timely Mission the same day she was admitted to the hospital.
The other resident who died that day, like Olthoff, had lost a significant amount of weight and became unresponsive, according to the state report.
Olthoff's family, which cited the state report in the lawsuit, is seeking an unspecified amount in damages for medical expenses along with funeral and burial costs, as well as punitive damages.
State officials investigated the Timely Mission Nursing Home 19 times due to complaints over the five years before the deaths of Olthoff and the unidentified resident.