Air Force Veteran Dies in Nursing Home, Covered in Ant Bites

Our team of nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys is again frustrated to hear of another veteran left in immediate danger in a Veterans Affairs (VA) nursing home regulated by the Federal government and Department of Veterans’ Affairs. Joel Marrable, a Vietnam War veteran, had taken up residence at the Eagles’ Nest Community Living Center and was dependent on the Atlanta, Georgia VA Medical Center for his daily living and ongoing medical needs. The 74-year-old veteran of the Air Force had been battling cancer before he recently died in the VA nursing home – covered in ant bites.

Marrable’s daughter, Laquna Ross told WSB-TV, “His room had ants, the ceiling, the walls, the beds. They were everywhere. The staff member says to me, ‘When we walked in here, we thought Mr. Marrable was dead. We thought he wasn’t even alive because the ants were all over him.’”

Lawmakers spoke out in shock over the news.

“This patient, at the end of his life, was clearly not being monitored closely enough, and I am so sad for his family who had to discover his insect-infested conditions before anything was reportedly done.”

– Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., chairman of the Senate VA Committee

His daughter reported the ant infestation and ant bites to Eagles’ Nest workers as soon as she was informed. The home responded by cleaning her father’s room and bathing him. Ross was told that the ants quickly returned, and her father was moved into another room. Sadly, he died only a week later with ant bites still noticeable.

The Atlanta VA Health Care System apologized and responded that they would hold themselves accountable if any wrongdoing was found. A spokesman told news outlets that a “top-to-bottom review of this situation” will be scheduled.

Veterans Homes in Illinois Continue to Battle Poor Care Ratings

Unfortunately, Marrable’s story is not a rare case of a military member being neglected by the VA. America’s VA nursing homes are filled with more residents battling bed sores and chronic pain, who often live in failing and understaffed facilities compared to private nursing homes, all signs pointing to neglect and abuse as proven in several investigative reports. And VA hospitals have been targeted for providing the same type of neglectful care.

According to the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA), four nursing homes are licensed by the Illinois Department of Public Health and certified by the US Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in the state of Illinois.  Those homes are located in:

  1. Anna
  2. LaSalle
  3. Manteno
  4. Quincy

These homes all carry 1- to 3-star ratings showcasing some of the poorest quality measures of care – reliable indicators of resident neglect and abuse.

Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorneys for Veterans

The attorneys at Levin & Perconti are experienced in helping veterans who have suffered as a result of a poorly performing VA nursing home. If a veteran close to you has fallen ill or died because of negligent care while a resident of a nursing home, a patient at a hospital, or a guest or resident of an Illinois veterans’ facility, the Illinois nursing home and personal injury attorneys of Levin and Perconti can help you determine if you have cause to pursue legal action on behalf of them.

Our consultations are always free, confidential, and handled by one of our skilled attorneys. Click here to fill out an online request form or call us toll-free at 1-877-374-1417 or 312-332-2872.

Also read: Illinois VA Nursing Home Care Report Paints Bleak Picture