Florida Nursing Home Lawsuits Raise Care Quality Questions

A series of deeply troubling allegations has emerged regarding several Florida nursing homes where it is alleged negligence and neglect led to horrible injuries and, in some cases, death. Some of the victims and/or survivors have filed lawsuits. Others have not, but criminal authorities have interceded. elder

The facilities under fire include two in Winter Haven, two in Lakeland and one in Bartow. The cases each involve alleged instances of care coordinators placing the interests and profits of the facilities before the people for whom they should have been caring.

The first case involves a man who, following a five-month stay at a nursing center, had to have his leg amputated above-the-knee after an untreated sore became infected. According to the complaint, the sore was ignored by staffers and ultimately, the infection spread out-of-control, requiring an amputation to save his life.

Additionally, the patient alleged he suffered numerous falls. The center has countered the patient’s injuries stem from pre-existing conditions.

Our West Palm Beach nursing home abuse lawyers understand this same center has come under fire multiple times by state investigators, who fined the facility repeatedly for safety and care violations between 2009 and 2013, according to state records.

In the next case, a 23-year-old certified nursing assistant who was hired by a Winter Haven assisted-living facility as its resident care coordinator pleaded no contest to elderly neglect criminal charges recently. According to prosecutors, she had an “unspoken rule” that staffers were barred from calling 911 without first contacting her. In April 2013, an 80-year-old patient began complaining of stabbing pains in his eye. Staffers tried calling the care coordinator repeatedly. Four hours later, after the sixth phone call, they got through to her. Only then did they finally contact 911. At the hospital, doctors learned he was having a stroke. His brain had begun to hemorrhage. He died a few hours later.

She was later fired from her job. Her CNA license was revoked, and the criminal court also prohibited her from providing direct care or supervision to any vulnerable persons, including the elderly. There is not indication as of yet the family has pursued civil action.

In the latter three cases, lawsuits were filed alleging the nursing home facilities developed admission policies that involved accepting sicker and sicker patients, without bolstering the staff levels to ensure those patients would receive adequate care.

In one of those cases, a patient developed a c-diff infection and severe dehydration while receiving care at the nursing home. The conditions ultimately led to her death, the suit alleges.

In another case, a woman developed severe bedsores, blood sugar that was dangerously low and, eventually gangrene in his right foot requiring him to undergo emergency surgery to initiate a below-the-knee amputation. He was also malnourished and dehydrated and died not long after discharge.

The third woman’s family alleges the facility failed to monitor her for signs and symptoms of infection, and she died shortly after discharge from the facility.

The nursing homes in question in the last three cases rank in the bottom one-fifth of nursing homes in the region, and have repeatedly been subjected to state fines for below-standard care.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a nursing facility, contact the Hollander Law Firm at (888) 751-7770 for a free and confidential consultation. There is no fee unless we win.

Additional Resources:

Suit Claims Nursing Home Was Negligent, Jan. 11, 2015, By Robin Williams Adams, The Ledger

Nursing Centers Face Lawsuits in 3 Deaths, Jan. 3, 2015, By Robin Williams Adams, The Ledger

Ex-supervisor gets probation in patient’s death, Jan. 10, 2015, By Cody Dulaney, The Ledger

More Blog Entries:

Martin v. Dematic – Wrongful Death Limitations Statute Tolled, Jan. 9, 2015, West Palm Beach Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog