Hurricane Irma ripped through the Caribbean and Florida, leaving millions of dollars in property damage in its wake. Property damage can be fixed, though. For the families of 11 residents of a South Florida nursing home, their damage is beyond repair.
How so? The Rehabilitation Center of Hollywood Hills is being accused of negligence in regards to the deaths of 11 of its elderly residents during Hurricane Irma.
In a wrongful death suit brought by the family of Miguel Antonio Franco, one of the residents who died, they claim “the facility failed to provide proper air conditioning and that patients suffered for days because of sweltering temperatures resulting from loss of power to AC units.”
The lawsuit also claims that the nursing home didn’t make the necessary and timely calls for emergency help and failed to give proper care to Franco’s wife, who survived, but was in the hospital in serious condition.
The Franco family’s lawyer says Franco’s death was avoidable despite the nursing home saying they were constantly in contact with authorities and provided cooling devices inside the building. Additionally, the nursing home did not evacuate residents to the hospital located across the street.
What happened at this nursing home is a tragedy for the families who lost loved ones, but they are choosing to fight back and seek justice for their irreplaceable loss with lawsuits. If you suspect your loved one in a nursing home is the victim of negligence, holding those responsible accountable for their actions can not only help you get much needed compensation, but also shine a light on a serious issue to make it less likely that others will be harmed in the same way.
Nursing Home Liability and Negligence
If you suspect a nursing home is negligent in taking care of your loved one, there are three types of proceedings that could potentially take place:
- An adult protective services agency investigation and finding can provide immediate relief to the victim and prevent future harm.
- A criminal prosecution can punish the wrongful conduct.
- A civil action or lawsuit can remedy damages with a settlement.
For a nursing home to be liable for negligence in a civil suit, your lawyer will have to prove three main elements:
The nursing home had a duty of care to the injured person. Florida has developed Minimum Standards for Nursing Homes as well as a compilation of nursing home residents’ rights. This establishes the nursing homes’ duty of care, which is the degree of care that a reasonably careful licensee, individual, or entity would use under similar circumstances.
The nursing home breached their duty of care. If the nursing home is in violation of the minimum standards or of any of their resident’s rights, they have breached their duty of care.
The breach in their duty of care directly caused the injury. This will be the most important part of your lawsuit. You have to be able to show that the breach caused the injury rather than the victim’s preexisting health conditions.
For example in the case of the Hollywood Hills nursing home, the plaintiffs have to show that the residents died because the nursing home didn’t have A/C, evacuate residents, or call 911 sooner, and not because of the residents’ preexisting health conditions.
Fight Back Against Florida Nursing Home Negligence
If you or a loved one has been injured or died due to nursing home negligence, you should reach out to an experienced Florida personal injury lawyer. Your knowledgeable attorney will listen to the details of your case to determine if you’re entitled to receive compensation for the damages you’ve suffered. Don’t wait, contact a skilled attorney today.
About the Author:
A partner at Lawlor, White & Murphey and a distinguished personal injury lawyer, Ben Murphey tries complex disputes that include civil appeals, maritime and admiralty claims, wrongful death, and labor disputes. Mr. Murphey has been recognized for his excellence in the area of personal injury litigation by being rewarded with a 10/10 Avvo Rating and named a Super Lawyers “Rising Star” for the last four consecutive years (2011-2014). Mr. Murphey regularly tries cases in state and federal courts around the country, being admitted to practice before all Florida courts and the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.