Articles Tagged with Fort Lauderdale nursing home abuse lawyer

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Most of Florida’s nursing homes and assisted living facilities have not yet acquired generator backup for air conditioning this hurricane season, despite a state law mandating they do so by a deadline of June 1st. That’s according to information from the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA), as reported by AARP.

This mandate came about after the devastating hurricane season we had last year, during which 12 residents of a nursing home in Hollywood died when the facility went days without power in sweltering temperatures without seeking outside assistance – despite the fact that there was an air-conditioned hospital right across the street, sparking national outrage. State lawmakers passed a measure requiring facilities to secure an emergency power source on site and also to have a written plan in the event of evacuation in the event similar circumstances arise in the future (as they are likely to do). The law also stipulates that nursing home generator backup systems must function to keep facilities at a stable temperature of at or below 81 degrees for 96 hours after an outage of power.

As of one week prior to the deadline, only about 100 of Florida’s nearly 700 nursing homes had met the new statutory standards. Fewer than 350 requested an extension from the state. Of the more than 3,100 assisted living centers in Florida, only 205 met the requirements by deadline, with about 350 asking for more time. The nursing homes and assisted living facilities that are granted an extension will have another six months. But of course, as our Fort Lauderdale nursing home injury lawyers probably don’t need to point out, this will be well past the 2018 hurricane season, which means scores of vulnerable and elderly residents will be at risk of a tragic repeat, which occurred in the wake of last year’s monster storm amid an especially active season.

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Investigators with the Government Accountability Office reported recently there are giant gaps in the collection of data on the financial abuse of seniors in nursing homes, making it next to impossible to accurately quantify the scope of the problem. 

The acting director of the agency’s Forensic Audit and Investigative Service Team offered up the latest report to members of the U.S. Senate’s Aging Committee. It’s the first comprehensive look at financial abuse of the elderly in six years. Unfortunately, the report is based on scant evidence – a limited review of just eight cases that were closed between 2011 and 2015. The agency is only allowed to examine cases that have been closed, and that can in some cases take years.

In most cases, the acting director said it’s the court systems of the state – not the federal government – that are in charge of keeping track of financial abuse. However, that isn’t happening in a lot of cases, which means we don’t have a clear picture of how serious a problem this is. Continue reading →

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A wealthy nursing home operator with mansions in Miami and Los Angeles is the subject of a U.S. Justice Department investigation and prosecution that alleges he orchestrated a Medicare and Medicaid bribery and kickback scheme totaling losses of more than $1 billion. Authorities in July stated it was the largest single criminal health care fraud case ever filed against an individual by the DOJ. 

Now, the subject of that investigation, Philip Esformes, is fighting to be released on bond, as federal authorities are placing enormous pressure on the courts to keep him locked up in South Florida, where he was arrested at one of his Miami Beach waterfront estates this summer. Although the court has been bombarded with letters of support for Esformes, some of which have included receipts related to his many philanthropic efforts, he remains at the Miami Federal Detention Center.

Authorities say Esformes and his father siphoned millions of taxpayer dollars every single year from federal programs intended to aid the sick and disabled over the course of 14 years. The pair had nursing homes across the country, including about 20 in Florida. According to the latest federal indictment, he and his co-conspirators took money from these federal programs in the name of some 14,000 patients at various facilities. In many cases, federal authorities allege, patients were given treatment that wasn’t necessary and in some cases was actually harmful. Continue reading →

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A nursing home abuse lawsuit has been remanded for a new trial – but solely on the personal injury claim, not the wrongful death claim – by the West Virginia Supreme Court. 

The court ruled the lower court erred in failing to apply certain tolling provisions and discovery rules that would have allowed her to present evidence central to her case.

In Williams v. CMO Mgmt., the patient in question was an Alzheimer’s sufferer who resided at defendant facility for a decade, from June 2001 to June 2011. Following his death in early July 2011, plaintiff, as representative of decedent’s estate, filed a lawsuit alleging personal injury and wrongful death as a result of neglect and abuse patient suffered while a patient at facility. Plaintiff also sought damages in connection with systemic issues at the nursing home related to understaffing, poor allocation of resources and budgeting and problems with certain policies and procedures. She wanted to recover for injuries her father had sustained from 2009 until his death.

At all times relevant, decedent was mentally incompetent.  Continue reading →

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The U.S. Department of Justice has announced the launch of 10 regional Elder Justice Task Forces, which will coordinate with state and local law enforcement, prosecutors and other agencies to not only provide services to the elderly, but also to take action against facilities that perpetuate nursing home abuse.

Stuart Delery, the acting associate attorney general for the initiative, said that while millions of elderly Americans count on nursing homes and staffers to provide adequate care and treat them with dignity – which is a baseline requirement – too many nursing homes are putting profits before people.

Task force members will seek to identify potential problems before they grow into serious issues and also to take to task those facilities who fail in their duties to patients who are elderly, frail and suffering from dementia and other similar conditions. Continue reading →

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A former nursing home owner is being held personally responsible to pay $1.6 million after a court found he tried to transfer money from the facility’s bank accounts to avoid payment of previous court judgments handed down for abuse of residents. 

According to media reports of the case, one of the earlier judgments against his facility was for $1.21 million, and was to go to three daughters, the surviving family members of a woman who had been abused at his nursing home in Oklahoma. The women had sued the owner for mental and physical abuse.

That abuse, which was captured on video, showed staff at the nursing home stuffing a rubber glove into the elderly woman’s mouth, slapping her about the head and face, forcefully throwing her down on to the bed and hitting her on the chest.

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Nursing home abuse at a center in Minnesota has reportedly been uncovered via hidden camera, resulting in the termination and arrest of two nursing assistance and the suspension of nine others.

Family members of numerous family residents collaborated to install cameras in the private rooms of their loved ones. They suspected wrongdoing when they began to notice bruising and cuts on the faces of their loved ones, but they couldn’t seem to get a straight answer. They were worried for the safety of their elderly relatives.

Now, they know those concerns were valid. Continue reading →

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Those in nursing home facilities and long-term care centers are at heightened risk of burn injuries for a number of reasons. The majority of those living in nursing homes have health and mobility issues, which means any attempted evacuation for a fire or other issue is fraught with going to be extremely problematic.

The U.S. Accountability Office estimates there were 2,300 nursing home fires between 1993 and 1999. That breaks down to nearly 400 fires annually. Most are minor, but sometimes, they do result in injury or death.

Common causes of nursing home fires and burns include:

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A special kind of impact-absorbing floor material was found to slash fall-related injuries by approximately 60 percent in Swedish nursing homes, according to a new study published in the journal Injury Prevention.

The lead author of the study noted the seriousness of falls for elderly in nursing homes, asserting they comprise nearly 70 percent of all falls among older people, who on average suffer three to four falls annually. Consequences can range from minor bruising and pain to hip fractures and head injuries.

Meanwhile in the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports one of every three adults over the age of 65 will suffer a fall. Of those, about 25 percent will suffer a moderate-to-severe injury that will not only impair their mobility, but possibly put them at risk of serious infection or even death. The direct medical costs for these incidents pushes $35 billion a year.

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