It was a story that shocked South Florida and much of the nation. Eight elderly residents at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills died due to the loss of air conditioning during Hurricane Irma. More than 150 other residents at the facility were evacuated to Hollywood Memorial Regional and other local hospitals. Three people had died when the first responders arrived. Another five residents died later that afternoon. The incident made national headlines and is now raising important questions when it comes to the quality of elderly care in South Florida.
A History of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Nursing homes often have an unfair reputation for abuse and neglect. Most of these facilities are operated by highly trained and caring staffs. However, one case of neglect is far too many–especially with so many seniors in South Florida are in need of elder care. Unfortunately, the recent deaths at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills is not the first time the nursing home has been in the news. Back in 2006, the facility’s owner Dr. Jack Michel and four others settled a $15 million health care fraud case with the Department of Justice in 2006. To be fair, it has yet to be determined whether this case has anything to do with the recent deaths. However, it is important for people with elderly loved ones to do their homework when choosing a senior care facility.
Was the Nursing Home Negligent?
Police and federal law enforcement are still investigating the deaths. But from a legal standpoint, there are some important fundamental questions that need to be addressed. Did the nursing home properly monitor or document the deteriorating health of its patients? What steps did the facility take to transport the victims? What procedures were set in place to help victims who needed assistance the most? Because many of the facts of the case are still unknown, the answers could determine whether the facility was negligent and ultimately responsible for wrongful death.
A Cooper City Wrongful Death Attorney Can Help
The loss of a loved one can be heartbreaking. But it can be even more devastating when it happens due to the negligence of others. Nursing home administrators and staffs have a responsibility to provide the best possible care for their residents. While Hurricane Irma was an act of God, it is vital for healthcare facilities to have a proper plan in place to provide emergency care or evacuation procedures should there be a loss of power.
For more than 30 years, Cooper City wrongful death attorney Bradley S. Hartman has helped countless people who have lost the parents, grandparents and loved ones due to nursing home negligence. Although a wrongful death lawsuit will not bring back your loved one, it can help ease the financial hardships for family members who depend on the income of the deceased. He and his staff utilize a comprehensive and compassionate approach to help clients recover the maximum settlement they deserve. To learn more, contact the Law Office of Bradley S. Hartman in Cooper City and schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case.