The death count is now 11 residents. 11 human lives were lost in heat-related deaths due to the negligence of Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills. The facility and its owners are civilly liable for these deaths for two reasons:
- Failing to provide back-up generators to power emergency ventilation systems, and,
- Subsequently failing to take compromised patients 20 yards across the street to the hospital (which had power throughout Irma).
As investigation into the incident continues, recent developments revealed that the nursing home made multiple distress calls to Rick Scott’s cell phone. The newest wrinkle is that four crucial voicemails were deleted from Governor Scott’s cell phone. This has been confirmed by the Governor’s office.
“Why not just keep it?” Barbara Petersen, president of the First Amendment Foundation, told the Miami Herald. “It’s bothersome to say the least. Right now, we’re in a he said, she said.”
Timeline of Failures: Calls Made By Hollywood Hills
- September 10 3:00pm: Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills loses power due to Hurricane Irma.
- September 10 3:49pm: Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills calls FP&L to report outage.
- September 11 7:35pm: First call to Rick Scott by Hollywood Hills nurses to report power issues and lack of air. A voicemail was left and subsequently deleted.
- September 11 9:50pm: Rick Scott aide calls Hollywood Hills back and says ‘Call 911’ if residents are at risk.
- September 12 10:25am: Two more calls from Hollywood Hills nursing home to Rick Scott’s cell phone. Both messages were deleted by the Governor’s office.
- September 12 3:01am: First 911 call by Hollywood Hills nurses to report a patient in cardiac distress.
- September 12 4:45am: Now, 5 residents are in cardiac distress. “Unclear” if it is heat-related.
- September 12 4:56pm: CEO Natasha Anderson calls Rick Scott’s cell phone again, leaving message. This post-crisis voicemail was deleted by the Governor’s office.
- September 13 10:00am: Nursing home and police officials arrive at the facility. Inside air temperature was estimated to be 105 degrees Fahrenheit.
Florida’s administrative agency responsible for policing nursing homes, AHCA, released the following statement:
“These patients ended up at the hospital with body temperatures of, for example, 109.9 degrees Fahrenheit, 108.5 degrees Fahrenheit, 108.3 degrees Fahrenheit and 107 degrees Fahrenheit — far too late to be saved.”
Nursing home owners maintain that they called Rick Scott’s cell phone in crisis, seeking ‘immediate assistance.’ It is unclear why nursing home staff did not just transport their residents across the street to Memorial Regional hospital, which had power and air conditioning through the storm.
Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills License: Current Status
Thankfully, Florida’s Agency for Healthcare Administration recently suspended the facility’s license. Justification for this was based on the nursing home’s failure to call 911 or evacuate residents to the nearby hospital when they realized there was a problem. AHCA Secretary Justin Senior called the nursing home’s conduct “reckless” and “egregious”, which, coincidentally, rises to the level of punitive damages in nursing home abuse cases.
Wrongful Death Lawsuits Against Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills: Current Status
Our Florida nursing home abuse attorneys currently have two pending wrongful death cases against the Rehab Center at Hollywood Hills. We are investigating piercing the corporate veil and potentially attaching liability to Hollywood Hills’ owners, including but not limited to Dr. Jack Michel. Speak with out attorneys today if you have questions about a wrongful death case against the Hollywood Hills nursing home.
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