Articles Tagged with nursing home abuse in Fort Lauderdale

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Choosing a nursing home for a loved one can be a difficult and painful decision. For many, finding a facility with a good reputation and acceptable government inspection reports is critical.

Regulators tried to make the process easier, starting in December 2008 with its Nursing Home Compare website, which graded nursing homes across the country according to a set of criteria. Centers were rated on a scale of one-to-five stars, with one star being the lowest and five stars being the highest.

However, recent evaluations of the grading criteria showed it was actually far too easy for a center to obtain a top-quality rating, despite evidence of improper care practices. Namely, there is an increasing degree of scrutiny involving the rates at which nursing homes rely on dangerous antipsychotic drugs to subdue patients with dementia – a purpose for which those drugs aren’t approved.

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A 76-year-old woman who spent months languishing in a South Florida nursing home before being removed in 2003 died just weeks later. A jury later determined her to be the victim of continual neglect, having suffered numerous bed sores, malnutrition and a serious fall that resulted in a head injury.

Her survivors were awarded $110 million against two nursing home companies, ordered to pay $55 million each. Those firms are Trans Healthcare Inc. and Trans Health Management Inc.

However, her family has found it nearly impossible to collect on that verdict. In the last four years, the family has pressed forward through a complex maze of shell corporation transactions involving the firm that appear to have been designed specifically to mitigate such liabilities. Trans Healthcare’s liabilities were all funneled into a company called Fundamental Long Term Care Inc. The problem is, that firm is a shell. It has no assets.

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