8 Dead in Florida Nursing Home Due To Negligence
8 Dead in Florida Nursing Home in Wake of Irma
Read the full story here on from the New York Times.
Here’s What Attorney Moynahan Had to Say
For want of a nail the shoe was lost, for want of a nail the horse was lost, for want of the horse the rider was lost, all for want of a nail.” The entirely preventable and avoidable tragedy which occurred at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood hills LLC is inexcusable and evinces a callousness and carelessness that exceeds mere negligence and is, at its essence, criminal conduct.
A fuse needed to cool the center’s air conditioning unit was knocked out of place by Irma which left the facility without air conditioning for three days. Residents were cooling only with fans even though the facility had a generator. Most windows remained closed because of resident psychiatric patients that staffers feared might escape.
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It is not difficult to conceive of legal causes of against the Rehabilitation Center for numerous deficiencies in the care which was not provided to the most vulnerable and needy among the victims of Irma’s aftermath. The training of the staff will be called into question as their negligence, recklessness and criminal culpability is scrutinized with microscopic attention to detail.
Carbon monoxide poisoning from generators has not been ruled out and until it is the manufacturer the equipment will remain as a potential defendant under a theory of product liability. If the generators were not properly maintained so that poisonous gas leaked into the residential area , either or both, the owner of the facility and a maintenance company could be liable.
Apparently it took Florida Power and Light days to reach the premises. According to an employee of the air conditioning company , “we couldn’t do anything until we got that fuse popped in.” Medical facilities especially rehabilitation centers for the elderly must come before residences. It appears unconscionable to have infirm patients sweltering in stifling heat and dehydrating for three days before a transformer was restored to operating condition.
Finally, when inspected by Florida’s Agency for Healthcare administration in 2016 multiple deficiencies were cited. Further investigation may reveal the State may be liable for issuing or not suspending the Center’s license to do business. Records indicate the deficiencies were resolved but were they satisfactory or pro forma and were further inspections required or warranted?
In 2006 owner Dr. Jack Michel was among a group of defendants who settled a Medicare kickback scheme for a combined $14.5 million involving funneling patients to a particular facility.
If you were a family member of one of the eight people who died or of one of at least 10 injured wouldn’t you want to know why a medical doctor who used patients for profit was allowed to reign over the lives and well being of your loved ones, entrusted to his care.
All for want of a fuse? All for want of training? All for want of, etc etc.?
Timothy C. Moynahan is the CEO and owner of Moynahan Partners, which offers business development consultancy, identifying strategic business partnerships and funding sources. He founded and heads the Moynahan Law Firm, Waterbury, Connecticut. He is a sought-after and successful trial lawyer, earning the Super Lawyer of New England and Connecticut awards from 2009 to 2012 and Best Criminal Defense Attorney accolade in 2013.