World News

Family of Victim Sues Fla. Nursing Home Where 8 Died

Family of Victim Sues Fla. Nursing Home Where 8 Died

The shocking news that eight people who were residents of the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills in Hollywood, Fla., died at the facility in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma has sparked many questions about how such a thing could happen.

More than 100 patients at the nursing home were evacuated on Wednesday along with 18 patients from a nearby facility that was cleared due to the criminal investigation, Hollywood officials said.

The storm - which has claimed more than two dozen lives in the U.S. - struck southwestern Florida on Sunday morning as a category four hurricane before weakening to a tropical depression on Monday.

The number of deaths attributed to Irma, the most powerful Atlantic storm in a decade, has continued to rise. I never even knew a Category 5 existed. "It is just senseless". The staff used fans, put cold towels and ice on patients and gave them cold drinks, he said. Police say that the 145 patients who were sent to Memorial Regional Hospital include four from Larkin Community Hospital Behavioral Health Services - a facility that shares a building with the Rehabilitation Center.

Facing a situation that was out of control, doctors and fire officials ultimately made a decision to transfer all the patients to the hospital, where dozens were treated for respiratory distress, dehydration and heat exhaustion, officials said.

Bichachi, who quit over a year ago, said the AC often shut down for two or three days at a time, baking the air in the 152-bed facility.

In late 2014, federal inspectors noted a remote generator alarm at the nursing home was not functional. It was "terribly hot", she added, but at least the elevator was working.

Richard Beltran, a spokesman for Florida Power & Light, said Wednesday: "What we know now is that a portion of the facility did, in fact, have power, that there was a hospital across the parking lot from this facility and that the nursing home was required to have a permanently installed operational generator".

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"The loss of these individuals is a profound tragedy", said a statement by the Florida Health Care Association, which represents 81% of Florida's nursing centers.

The situation could be especially acute in areas like the Florida Keys, where 25 per cent of homes were destroyed by heavy winds and storm surge.

"The Hollywood Police Department has been granted a search warrant for this property", Raelin Storey, the city's public affairs director, said at a news conference outside the nursing home Thursday morning.

Their nursing home lost power and generators failed, causing sweltering heat in the facility. In 2006, he and three co-defendants paid $15.4 million to settle Medicare and Medicaid fraud claims against them without admitting wrongdoing.

Trump pledged to come back to Florida "numerous times". "But the first responders and the Coast Guard, and to all of the people. all of the people that worked so hard have done an A-plus job", Trump said. He toured a Houston shelter housing hundreds of displaced people and walking streets lined with soggy, discarded possessions.

The president couldn't resist injecting a political flavor into his visit, telling reporters in Fort Myers that he was hopeful that Florida Gov. Rick Scott, a two-term Republican, would run for the Senate, where Democrat Bill Nelson is up for re-election next year.

The president, wearing a white baseball cap with "USA" written on it, later visited Naples, where he handed out sandwiches to residents under a blue shade pavilion.

Irma rampaged through the Caribbean, devastating several islands and raking the northern shore of Cuba last week. Widespread outages led to long lines outside of the relatively few stores, gas stations and restaurants that had reopened.


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