Hurricane Irma caused devastation across Florida earlier this month. One hard-hit area which is now in cleanup mode is Broward County. Devastation was reported from a rehabilitation center where the death toll rose to 10 on Sept. 21. Although a criminal investigation is underway, it was reported that the previous nine deaths resulted from overheating due to the lack of air conditioning after power failures. Wrongful death lawsuit may follow.
The family of one of one 94-year-old patient who survived the heat exposure has now filed a lawsuit claiming the facility was reckless and exercised negligent indifference toward the double-amputee who is also a diabetic. Comprehensive emergency medical plans should be in place in nursing homes and assisted-living facilities, and if all personnel then follow those plans, such tragedies could be avoided. Reportedly, 911 was only called three days after the impact of Hurricane Irma.
This left resident enduring sweltering heat while they were across the street from a hospital with fully-functioning air conditioning. This suffering led to the deaths of eight patients three days after the storm, and a ninth patient died another six days later. Most recently, a 94-year-old female patient passed away as a result of the damage the hurricane caused the facility and the negligence of staff to secure an acceptable standard of care.
Whenever a loved one dies as the result of the negligence of other parties, the surviving family members might have grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit. The best route to take might be to allow an experienced Florida personal injury attorney to assess the circumstances and evaluate the viability of such a claim. A lawyer can assist with the establishment of negligence, which is the basis of any personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.
Source: NBC News, “Tenth Person Dies From Nursing Home That Lost Air Conditioning After Hurricane Irma“, Corky Siemaszko, Sept. 21, 2017