State and local officials are investigating the 8 resident deaths at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills nursing home in Hollywood, FL following Hurricane Irma. Nearby Memorial Regional Hospital referred to the multi-wrongful death incident as a ‘mass casualty event.’ The horrific incident garnered nationwide news which may result in licensure issues for the Hollywood Hills Rehab nursing home.
Senior Justice Law Firm is Already Investigating One Wrongful Death Case Against Hollywood Hills Rehabilitation Center.
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What Happened at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills to Cause So Many Wrongful Deaths?
Failure to Prepare for Power Outages from Irma
Hurricane Irma wreaked havoc on South Florida, causing widespread Hurricane property damage claims and power outages. Although the storm was record-breaking in size, it was not a surprise. Nursing homes had ample time to prep and secure vulnerable residents. It was anticipated that nursing homes would lose power and device-dependent residents would require back-up power sources. Air conditioning was another concern as elderly residents may die from heatstroke in South Florida heat. Our attorneys predicted before the storm that some South Florida nursing homes were unprepared for Hurricane Irma.
Likely Cause of Death: Heatstroke
Although officially unconfirmed, media outlets are reporting that the residents likely died in the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills due to heatstroke. In nursing homes, air conditioning is more than just a convenience. It is a requirement to keep vulnerable residents alive. Nursing homes have a legal duty to ensure they have appropriate power back-ups in place to keep residents safe. It appears Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills failed to do that prior to Hurricane Irma hitting the nursing home.
Indications of Deeper Problems at Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills Nursing Home
Our nursing home abuse lawyers have already signed up one family in a wrongful death lawsuit against Rehab Center at Hollywood Hills. We are currently investigating their loved one’s death at the controversial nursing home.
The facility is owned by Larkin Health Systems. Larkin Health Systems owner, Jack Michel, has been accused by the Department of Justice of committing both federal and state healthcare fraud. Michel settled the fraud case, in part, by paying $15.4 million in 2006 along with other owners. One of the other co-owners/defendants in the prior fraud case was Phillip Esformes, who is currently under federal indictment for the largest Medicare fraud in the history of the U.S.
Senior Justice Law Firm is also suing Mr. Esformes’ corporations in a separate nursing home abuse case against Golden Glades Rehab in Miami-Dade County.
When specifically asked about Rehab Center at Hollywood Hills’ preparation for the storm, FPL spokesman Ron Gould commented, “We met with Broward in early March . . . This facility was not listed as a top-tier critical infrastructure facility.”
A Growing Death Count
When Hollywood Police Chief Tomas Sanchez entered the Hollywood Hills Rehab facility, it was believed that 3 residents had died. At the time Chief Sanchez called his news conference, the death toll was 6. At this time, 8 nursing home residents are confirmed dead following Irma. Sadly, this number is expected to grow.
“Right now, this is a criminal investigation. Our investigation has revealed that it was extremely hot on the second floor of the facility.” – Chief Sanchez
Broward County Medical Examiner Releases Victim Names
The following Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills residents are confirmed dead following Hurricane Irma loss of power:
- Estella Hendricks, age 71
- Betty Hibbard, age 84
- Miguel Antonio Franco, age 92
- Albertina Vega, age 99
- Manuel Mario Medieta, age 96
- Bobby Owens, age 84
- Gail Nova, age 71
- Carolyn Eatherly, age 78
Our deepest condolences are extended to the families of these victims.
Suing Hollywood Hills Rehab for Wrongful Death?
Demand Senior Justice
If your loved one died in the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills rehab facility Hurricane Irma power outage, demand Senior Justice. Nursing home negligence cases are the focus of our firm and our Hollywood, FL nursing home abuse attorneys can help you sue Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills in a wrongful death lawsuit.
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