On July 30, 2007 72-year old grandmother and piano teacher Cynthia Wilms went into The Willows Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin after having an elective hip replacement surgery. During her stay, Wilms developed a staph infection in a surgical wound and became very ill. No staff members at the chronically understaffed nursing home did anything or contacted anyone to help her get better despite their knowledge of the infection. On September 13, 2007 Wilms passed away.
Wilms' family and friends filed suit against the nursing home, recently named as the worst in the country, for wrongful death nursing home malpractice. Earlier this month, the owner of The Willows, Extendicare Health Services Inc., settled and agreed to pay $2.25 million to the family plus an undisclosed amount for court costs. The settlement is the largest settlement ever in Wisconsin between a nursing home and a nursing home resident.