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D-Day vet sues Evanston senior home, claims illness made him miss anniversary

Charles Banas, 96, filed the suit against Westminster Place and its parent company, Presbyterian Homes, on June 19 in Cook County Circuit Court.

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World War II veteran Charles Banas is suing the Westminster Place senior living facility in Evanston, claiming the facility made him too sick to attend the 75th anniversary of D-Day on June 6, 2019.
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A World War II veteran is suing a north suburban senior living home, claiming the facility is responsible for him getting too sick to attend the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion earlier this month.

Charles Banas, 96, and his daughter, Ardel Banas, filed the suit June 19 in Cook County Circuit Court against Westminster Place and its parent company, Presbyterian Homes.

Westminster Place, 3200 Grant St. in Evanston, is an independent living community consisting of townhomes, cottages and apartments, according to its website.

The suit claims a sewage line at Westminster Place collapsed in June 2018 and caused contaminated water to leak into the HVAC system at Banas’ home. The leak allegedly caused a buildup of mold and fecal bacteria in Banas’ unit and the surrounding floor.

The contamination caused Banas to contract pneumonia and MRSA, for which he was hospitalized on June 30, 2018, at Skokie Hospital, according to the suit. Following his hospitalization, he was admitted to the McGaw Care Center, a nursing and rehabilitation facility at Westminster Place for continued recovery.

During his stay at McGaw, Banas fell and fractured his pelvis on July 11, 2018, the suit claims. The surgery to repair those fractures had to be postponed because of pressure sores he developed while at the facility.

Banas claims the lengthy recovery time required for his injuries prohibited him from traveling and forced him to cancel a planned trip to England and France to participate in ceremonies commemorating the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

He flew two bombing missions as part of the D-Day invasion on June 6, 1944, according to a statement from his attorneys.

Banas’ lawyers also claim Westminster Place filed an eviction suit against him after he told the property managers he planned to sue.

“Think of all that he’s lived through, a World War II hero who got so sick because of this facility, who missed a once-in-a-lifetime honor and how even with all of the money he’s paid Westminster Place, and after all of the pain and suffering they have caused, they’re now trying to kick him out onto the street,” Attorney Steven Levin said in a statement. “That’s no way to treat any human being, let alone a decorated war veteran.”

The three-count lawsuit charges Westminster Place and Presbyterian Homes with negligence and violating the Nursing Home Care Act. Banas is seeking more than $150,000 in damages.

A spokesman for Presbyterian Homes said the company was unaware of the lawsuit, but that it was the company’s policy not to discuss litigation.