Most people are familiar with the tragic story of how 12 residents died in a Hollywood nursing home after it lost power due to Hurricane Irma slamming into the region. In that case, the temperatures go to deadly levels and much of the equipment was not functioning. While this particular case has been covered extensively in the media, there is now a focus on preventing a similar tragic incident in the future as we head into the full swing of hurricane season in South Florida once again.
Whenever a major weather event causes massive power outages, and this can include a major hurricane, a tropical storm, or even severe thunderstorms, local power company workers should be out in force working to restore power. Since some facilities like hospitals, police stations, fire stations, and others are deemed more critical than others in terms of having power quickly restored, there is a priority list maintained by Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) so they can focus on restoring the most essential systems first and then going back and getting everyone else’s power back on.
While government officials and much of the general public were shocked to find out there was not a single nursing home on this list during and following the tragic deaths of 12 nursing home residents, they are angered by the fact that there are still no nursing homes on the FPL priority restoration list as of the time of this recent article from the Sun Sentinel.
According to reports, officials from both Broward County and Miami-Dade County submitted a list of facilities to FPL that included nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Even though the 2018 hurricane season is well underway, it is shocking that none of these facilities have been added to the priority restoration list meaning the very same thing that happened after Hurricane Irma could happen again and there would simply be no excuse for this as our experienced West Palm Beach nursing home injury lawyers can explain.
However, while the utility companies can certainly take some of the responsibility, and these facilities should and must be added to FPL’s list of priority restoration facilities, the nursing homes themselves are not excused from liability. They are required to maintain suitable backup power solutions including generators and if necessary, move patients to a facility that does have power. They cannot simply allow elderly residents and those with other disabling conditions to remain in dangerously hot facilities and not provide them with much needed care.
These are all complex issues, and there may be more than one party at fault if you or a loved one are injured in an assisted living facility or nursing home. The best thing you can do is to speak with an experienced nursing home injury lawyer as soon as possible to see if you have a valid claim. While these loss of power incidents make major news across the region and even nationally, there are many other types of nursing home injuries including those caused by abuse by staff that do make the news. However, these are still very much major events to those residents and their families who have been injured so you should also speak with an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer about these events as well.
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.
No South Florida nursing home, assisted living facility on FPL priority power restoration list, July 3, 2018, By Marcia Heroux, Pounds, Sun Sentinel
More Blog Entries:
Report: Florida Nursing Home Chain Endures Despite History of Poor Care, June 14, 2018, Orlando Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog