Nursing home negligence – taking forms of both neglect and abuse – is not new, but it is something that has been increasingly drawn into the light in recent years. Still, some advocates have expressed frustration with the seemingly snail-paced progress when it comes to protections for nursing home residents. There is of course the possibility of filing a negligence lawsuit against the nursing home following the physical or emotional abuse or neglect of a loved one, but advocates are hoping to get changes made to prevent these all too frequent incidents before they occur.
These advocates have been hoping the wide-spread outcry to reports of nursing home deaths following hurricane Irma can add fire to their cause, as are the new reports pertaining to these needless deaths in one Florida nursing home that has been making headlines. According to a recent news article from Claims Journal, an insurance company trade publication, the temperature at the nursing home at which 12 residents died was 99 degrees Fahrenheit when they died. This would feel like a sauna to a person in ordinary health, but to those suffering from all kinds of serious medical conditions, including respiratory illness, these conditions proved fatal. There were nearly 150 residents in this particular nursing home and a majority of them suffered from severe dehydration. Regulators found that the facility failed to adhere to to various Minimum Standards for Nursing Homes found in Chapter 59A-4 of the Florida Administrative code including those pertaining to minimum and maximum safe temperature and hydration of residents.
It should be noted that the nursing home operators have challenged these findings in court and have stated that as they were waiting for power to be restored, they properly monitored the condition of residents and also denied that there were any excessive temperatures in the facility during that time. As the court process proceeds, we will likely hear more information about this situation as several residents and their families have filed a lawsuit for neglect.
In some cases, there is no question that neglect by the staff occurred, and that neglect resulted in serious physical or mental illness or both, and there is only a question as to damages. In other cases, as our Orlando nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys can explain, the nursing home may defend on negligence and there will be a need for a trial on the merits of the case should a settlement not be reached. This may involve complex issues of proof including the applicable standard of care for nursing home operators and staff. This may also involve the need for expert witnesses to testify on that standard of care. This is not an ordinary personal injury case in many respects so it is best to speak with an attorney at a law firm that regularly represents patients in Florida nursing homes and knows how to best fight for the rights of plaintiffs and work towards obtaining a full an appropriate financial recovery.
Call Freeman Injury Law — 1-800-561-7777 for a free appointment to discuss your rights. Now serving Orlando, West Palm Beach, Port St. Lucie and Fort Lauderdale.
More Blog Entries:
FAHCA: Florida Nursing Homes Still Non-Compliant With Emergency Power Rule, Nov. 9, 2017, Florida Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog