News Local/State

Estate Sues Champaign County Nursing Home

Champaign County seal, displayed in the Champaign County Boardroom.

Seal of Champaign County, displayed in the County Boardroom at the Brookens Administrative Center in Urbana. Jim Meadows/Illinois Public Media

The family of a Champaign County Nursing Home resident found dead on the nursing home grounds on a hot summer day is suing the facility. 

78-year old Sonya Kington died June 6th at the Champaign County Nursing Home. Kington, who had Alzheimer’s disease, had gone out a door that was propped ajar and into an enclosed courtyard. The Champaign County Coroner ruled that Kington died of heat exposure with dementia being a factor.

Attorney Patricia McClintock Gifford, lawyer with Spiros Law in Champaign, believes negligence caused Kington’s death. "Ms. Kington was out in the courtyard. Clearly if they knew she was there, they had forgotten about it and didn’t realize it until they went looking for her for dinner around 5:30 or so," Gifford said.

Gifford is representing Kington’s estate, which is suing the Champaign County Nursing Home for unspecified damages.

She says the nursing home did not follow protocol in securing the facility and failed to supervise Kington. 

The Champaign County State’s Attorney and the Champaign County Administrator both declined comment.