Criminal Investigation into Deaths at Florida Nursing Home
Florida Governor Rick Scott was outraged when he heard about it. His state had been racked by back-to-back hurricanes that brought flooding and winds over 100 miles per hour. Tens of thousands of people had been displaced and the damages were estimated to be around $200 billion.
Now, another tragedy had occurred.
Hurricanes can’t be prevented: they’re just nature running its course. But the deaths of eight senior citizens in a Hollywood, Florida, nursing home could have been prevented. “This situation is unfathomable,” Scott said.
Category 3 Harvey and category 4 Irma caused power outages across swaths of the Sunshine State, leaving thousands without air conditioning in the sweltering heat. Authorities say that the deaths of the nursing home patients, aged 70 to 91, were heat-related. They are currently conducting a criminal investigation. The ultimate insult? Across the street from the stifling nursing home sat a fully air-conditioned hospital, Memorial Regional.
Concerned about the safety of the rest of Florida’s four million senior citizens, Governor Scott ordered that all of the state’s nursing homes have fuel-powered generators within 60 days.
Seniors Tend to Be More Vulnerable in Natural Disasters
Sometimes we forget how fragile the elderly can be. A younger person may be able to cope with prolonged periods of near 100-degree heat. The same cannot always be said for people in their 80s and 90s.
When we put our loved ones in an assisted care facility, we do so with the belief that their needs will be met and their safety will be secured. When money is paid in exchange for care, the payer and the nursing home have entered a contract. Failure to provide care is a breach of contract.
A nursing home should be prepared for emergencies, be it a hurricane in Florida, a 7.1 magnitude earthquake in California, or an ice storm in the Northeast. A nursing home should also have adequate staff to regularly check on patients and see if they’re in distress. Knowing that the air conditioning was out, the staff at the Hollywood facility should have been extra vigilant in monitoring the condition of its residents. Had they been, these eight people might still be alive.
If your loved one has been injured or died due to nursing home negligence, you deserve to be compensated. To get the compensation you deserve, call the Long Beach offices of attorney Travis Siegel at 562-645-4145. Your initial consultation at Siegel Law is free.