More details are emerging surrounding the nursing home where eight residents died following a power outage due to hurricane Irma. The facility lacked air-conditioning which led to the residents succumbing to heat-related injuries. The Local 10 News reports that the facility had been sued multiple times and had several violations prior to the most recent incident.
Attorney Marcus Susen said that the eight deaths occurred at the Rehabilitation Center of Hollywood Hills didn’t surprise him. Susen had filed a negligence and abuse case on behalf of resident Lorraine Luongo in 2016.
Luongo, then 86, was taken off property by another resident when they were left unsupervised. Luongo, who is wheelchair bound and suffers from dementia, was found 2 miles away. She was out of her wheelchair and according to authorities, “crawling in the dirt.”
State health records show that the facility has been found in violation of several codes. Some of these violations include treating residents with dignity, kitchen violations, and failure to provide timely meals. The state did little to punish the facility.
In light of the eight deaths at the facility, a criminal investigation has been launched. Victims ranged in age from 71 to 99 years of age.
Governor Rick Scott stepped in and advised the Agency for Health Care Administration to issue a moratorium for the facility. Patients who survived the incident were taken to hospitals. Until the moratorium is lifted, the facility may not admit any new patients.
The AHCA and the Department of Children and Families have also been ordered to investigate the facility.
Have you or a loved one been the victim of abuse or neglect while staying in a nursing facility? Let the law offices of Schenk Smith fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Call us today.