Michael Lewis, who was staying at the Lake Shore HealthCare and Rehabilitation Centre in Chicago, caught fire while smoking a cigarette on the nursing home's porch.
The entire incident was caught on surveillance cameras (video below).
His fellow residents were unable to put out the fire, so Lewis frantically pushed himself and his wheelchair back inside the nursing home to get help.
Several staffers sprayed him directly with a fire extinguisher, but once the fire was out, they just rolled him back outside on the porch where his smoldering body covered in foam sat hunched over and motionless.
“He burned to death. He sustained burns like from mid-thigh up to the eyebrows. The horror, to think my brother is on fire and no one is there?" Lewis' sister Lisa Couch told CBS Chicago.
The incident happened in 2011, but Couch has recently filed a lawsuit against the Lakeshore HealthCare and Rehabilitation Centre.
“No one did anything until they heard the screams,” Couch's attorney Michael Carter told the New York Daily News. Carter claims the staff was running around and going hysterical.
“We don’t see anybody evaluating him or doing CPR for him,” said Dr. Stanley Zydlo, an emergency response expert, of the video.
Dr. Zydlo says a staffer should have placed damp sheets on Lewis because “the burn process is progressive unless you cool it down. It will continue.”
There’s no evidence of anyone performing CPR until Chicago EMS crews arrived on the scene, but by then it was too late.
Lake Shore HealthCare and Rehabilitation Centre representatives refused to comment due to privacy laws.
Sources: New York Daily News and CBS Chicago