Articles Posted in Nursing Home Abuse

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Someone rear ends you or hits you as your driving down the street. At the moment you don’t notice any pain or obvious injuries but as the weeks go on you notice discomfort in your neck, back, knees or other parts of your body. A common misconception among those injured in auto accidents in Miami is if they do not make the claim for injuries immediately after reporting the accident they are barred from recovery for injuries developed or intensifying in the future. Or you notice that the auto shop you took your car to for repairs did not adequately or completely make the fixes to your vehicle. These situations are common in the Miami- Dade, Coral Gables and all other surrounding areas in South Florida.

Every state has a statute of limitations that dictates how long a party has to bring a claim against those that injured them or breached the contract or duty owed to them. In Florida the statute of limitations includes but is not limited to the following:

Injury to Person 4 yrs. §95.11(3)(o)
Libel/Slander 2 yrs. §95.11(4)(g)
Fraud 4 yrs. §95.11(3)(j)
Injury to Personal Property 4 yrs. §95.11(3)(h)
Professional Malpractice 2 yrs.; Medical: 2-4 yrs. §95.11(4)(a) and (b)
Trespass 4 yrs. §95.11(3)(g)
Contracts Written: 5 yrs. §95.11(2)(b), 1 yr. specific performance§95.11(5)(a)Oral: 4 yrs. §95.11(3)(k)
Judgments 20 yrs. domestic §95.11(1); 5 yrs. foreign judgment §95.11(2)(a)


For a more complete list of the applicable statute of limitations in Florida see Florida Statute 95.11

Statutes of limitations involve many exceptions and cross reference with other applicable Florida laws. To assist in what can be a difficult area to understand and navigate the Experienced Personal Injury Lawyers at Friedland | Carmona are ready and eager to assist you immediately. Having a lawyer familiar with this area of law and experienced in handling all types of cases can make all the difference in the outcome of your claim.

The South Florida personal injury attorneys at the Friedland | Carmona handle all types of negligence, product liability, personal injury, negligent security, slip/trip and fall, and car accident cases throughout the state of Florida, including Boca Raton, Homestead, North Miami, South Miami, Miami Beach, Coral Gables, Pembroke Pines, Hialeah, Kendall, Aventura, Fort Lauderdale, and Palm Beach. The Friedland | Carmona handles all types of personal injury cases, including dog bites, wrongful death, defective products, medical malpractice, slip and falls, negligent and reckless drivers, and automobile and motorcycle accidents. Call the Miami personal injury attorneys today and let our family take care of your family.

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Personal injury law is utilized when someone causes physical harm to another and the injured wants to be made whole or compensated for that injury. The experienced attorneys at Friedland | Carmona provide free consultations to those who believe they may have a case and are seeking more information on the options available to them. Examples of situations when people normally seek personal injury lawyers in Miami, Coral Gables, and the surrounding areas include but are not limited to:

Auto accidents,

Trip and falls/slip and fall: There are many dangerous conditions like torn carpeting, changes in flooring, poor lighting, narrow stairs, or a wet floor can cause someone to slip and be injured. Same goes if someone trips on a broken or cracked public sidewalks, or falls down a flight of stairs. In addition, a slip and fall case might arise when someone slips or falls outdoors because of rain, ice, snow or a hidden hazard, such as a pothole in the ground. In any event, the plaintiff must have sustained some kind of injury, however minor, in order to collect,

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A California dispatcher followed protocols last Tuesday when she pleaded with an independent living facility nurse to perform CPR on a woman who was pronounced dead later that day. Glenwood Gardens, the facility where the woman resided, defended the nurse, who ultimately refused to perform CPR on the woman, stating that she followed the facility’s policy in dealing with this 87-year-old woman.

Dispatcher Tracey Halvorson, who has worked for Kern County for at least a decade, received a call on February 26 from a nurse requesting paramedics to come and help a woman who was barely breathing and had collapsed inside the Glenwood Gardens facility. Halvorson told the nurse to begin CPR on the woman, but the nurse refused, stating that the facility had a policy in place that prohibited her from performing CPR on residents. Halvorson stated “I understand if your boss is telling you you can’t do it. But . . . as a human being . . . you know. Is there anybody that’s willing to help this lady and not let her die?” The nurse responded calmly, “Not at this time.”

The phone call lasted seven minutes and sixteen seconds and consisted of Halvorson pleading with the nurse to perform CPR or find someone else who was willing to help. Halvorson even assured the nurse that the facility could not be sued if anything went wrong with the CPR and the woman died because, as Halvorson stated, the local emergency medical system “takes liability for this call.” The nurse continued to refuse to assist the woman or find anyone else who was willing to do so. Firefighters and ambulance personnel arrived on scene seven minutes after the call came in.

Calif. woman dies after nurse refuses to do CPR, March 04, 2013

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Golden Glades Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, a Miami Gardens nursing home, will close its 60-bed children’s unit after years of harsh criticism. The facility stands at the center of a bitter dispute over Florida’s system of care for extremely sick and disabled children. In recent years, it has been linked to the deaths of two young, severely disabled children in as many years, and a $300,000 federal fine as a result of one of those deaths.

Last year Golden Glades Nursing & Rehabilitation Center housed thirty children, although it currently only houses nineteen children. The nursing home is one of six licensed in Florida to care for children. Since June, it has sought to streamline the transfer of children back into their private homes. The facility donated a special bed with protective netting to one family, to protect their son from falling out of bed or injuring himself, as he suffers from frequent spasms and movements. It is also raising private funds to build a wheelchair ramp. Social workers and administrators at the facility have been collaborating with Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration (ACHA) to give parents and other caregivers who had children at the facility transfer options as the facility prepares to close its doors. Parents of fifteen of the children currently living at the facility have chosen to transfer their children to other residential pediatric care facilities.

The U.S. Department of Justice has accused the state of cutting funds too deeply that go to in-home care for frail children. Parent are often left with “no choice but to institutionalize their loved ones.” Gwen Wurm, the head of the medical foster care program for Jackson Health Systems denounced the Golden Glades Nursing and Rehabilitation Center’s approach since it has decided to close the facility. She stated that “[t]hey should have . . . met with every parent and every family to come up with an array of services that made it possible to allow more of those children to be in a home.” Dr. Durell Peaden Jr. agreed and further stated that Florida needs to “redesign” its system of care for these children.

Under fire, Miami-Dade nursing home closing its pediatric unit, January 31, 2013

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The Florida Institute for Neurologic Rehabilitation Inc. and several affiliated organizations filed for bankruptcy protection this week after several reports of abuse and neglect. The Institute, once a well-known brain injury institute, was facing several lawsuits for putting patients’ welfare in jeopardy. The Institute has not paid any insurance companies, law firms, medical supply companies, utility bills or taxes for the past several months.

Last August, Florida officials ordered the Institute to remove 50 patients from the Wauchula, Florida location to other facilities. The Institute’s financial problems and mismanagement came to light after an investigation revealed a “history of violence.” Patients were subjected to brutal beatings from caregivers, were encouraged to fight with one another while their caregivers looked on and male patients were encouraged to fondle female employees.

Read more about the abuse occurring at the Florida Institute for Neurologic Rehabilitation by clicking here.

Florida Brain-Injury Facility Files for Bankruptcy, January 07, 2013

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State officials were on site today, visiting a Miami Gardens nursing home that is currently under investigation over its treatment of “medically fragile children” in its care. These fragile children, who are in the care of the State of Florida, have been living at Golden Glades Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, which is a nursing home that was fined heavily by the federal government after a 14- year old Tampa girl was taken there against her mother’s wishes and died less than 12 hours after arrival. The Department of Children & Families oversees these children in the home.

David Wilkins, DCF Secretary, was at the nursing home after Florida’s privately run foster care agency in Miami, Our Kids, removed two of the five children from the care of the nursing home. One of the children was immediately sent to a Broward medical center. After DCF leaders filed a complaint, the state Agency for Health Care Administration opened a formal investigation of the nursing home. No safety concerns were immediately found, but child-welfare officials still have serious concerns about the home.

During Wilkins’s visit, a nurse overseeing the dependent children in the nursing home noted that detailed care-giving instructions for these children were ignored. Also, one of the home’s doctors abruptly resigned last week. The home’s pediatrician is supposed to see the children on a daily, if not weekly basis, but had not seen most of the children in weeks. These failures are what prompted DCF and Our Kids to remove children from the home and send them back to their parents or other medical foster homes, but two children will remain indefinitely because they cannot be physically moved.

DCF chief inspects Miami Gardens nursing home where girl died, December 19, 2012.

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Florida has been on the radar of many child-welfare agencies after it was discovered that the state has been funneling sick and disabled children into nursing homes designed for elderly patients. The Department of Children & Families has created new policies essentially raising the bar for children to be admitted to nursing homes. The new policies require “high-level approval before any child in state care can be admitted to a nursing home, or move from any institution to another.” DCF is also seeking out more foster parents who are trained and willing to care for special needs children in an effort to reduce the need for nursing homes.

DCF has custody of almost 15% of children who currently live in nursing homes, but child-welfare bosses have no authority of the care of the minors once they go into the nursing homes. According to insiders, this new policy states that DCF no longer favors institutionalizing children, which goes against the Agency for Health Care Administration, “whose funding formula has forced some parents to put their disabled kids into institutions.”

AHCA’s decision to place children in the nursing homes has come under fire by both state and federal officials. Notably, the United States Department of Justice has threatened to sue the state for violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which “requires that people with disabilities be allowed to live and receive care outside large, segregated institutions.” Federal officials state that forcing children to live in adult nursing homes causes isolation and lack of socialization that can curtail their development and lead to psychological disorders; further, at many nursing homes, children receive little education or stimulation and “spend their days in virtual isolation.”

DCF wants its kids out of nursing homes, December 04, 2012.

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Tiffany Gordon used to own and run the Intraqual Premier assisted living facility, but then she was convicted of fraud. Gordon defrauded a Miami public hospital when she created several “ghost employees” and secured $83,000 in paychecks. Gordon hired two friends and paid them roughly $40,000 to do nothing. One of the friends was not even in the area during much of her “employment” at Jackson Memorial. Gordon was in charge of authorizing other temporary workers’ time sheets and most were paid for hours they did not work. Most of the money was “kicked back” to Gordon. Gordon was listed as the director, CEO, president and part owner of Intraqual Premier in public records. “Under Florida law, ALFs cannot be owned or operated by someone who has been convicted of certain crimes — such as fraud — or charged with them and awaiting trial.” Despite her fraud, she still runs the Miami Gardens assisted living facility from her home, where she is currently under house arrest.

However, last week, the Miami Herald questioned how someone could “attend to the many needs of frail elders and disabled people” if they were serving a sentence on house arrest. After the inquiry, the state Agency for Health Care Administration filed a complaint against Intraqual Premier and is attempting to revoke the license. Florida requires healthcare facilities and administrators to use the honor code system and report employees accused of crimes, such as fraud. New state laws require the facilities to report when owners or administrators are criminally charged, which renders them “ineligible to work with vulnerable clients, such as frail elders and people with disabilities.” The state laws allow the Agency for Heath Care Administration to revoke, suspend or deny any license to any owner charged with a crime.

Gordon was arrested in September of last year while she was overseeing a private agency that placed temporary workers within Jackson Memorial Hospital. She was running Intraqual simultaneously under a license that “allowed the home to provide a significantly higher level of care than most assisted living facilities–stopping short of the services nursing homes provide.” Gordon is currently awaiting trial and maintains her innocence.

While on house arrest for fraud, woman operates Miami-Dade ALF, November 13, 2012.

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Federal investigators have threatened legal action against Florida health officials if they do not work to resolve allegations that “children with disabilities are being sent to adult nursing homes unnecessarily.” The U.S. Department of Justice sent a letter to Florida officials saying that the state is violating the federal Americans with Disabilities Act because they have allowed more than 200 children and infants with disabilities to be sent to adult nursing homes, often without a “clear path to return home.”

In the letter, Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez said, “We hope you will reconsider your unwillingness to cooperate with our investigation.” Investigators requested information from Florida health officials over nine months ago, but have received nothing from the state. Perez also stated, “If a mutually agreeable resolution is not possible, we will not hesitate to take swift and appropriate legal action.” The U.S. Department of Justice has resolved similar violations in other states, including Georgia, Virginia, North Carolina and Delaware.

State law officials deny the allegations against them. Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Liz Dudek stated that she is “open to meeting with the DOJ to clarify the misunderstanding.” She stated that children are “receiving the ‘medically necessary’ services that they need.” She also stated that her staff met with the children’s parents so that they feel their children are in the best place and that the efforts were “well received.”

Federal investigators contend that they continue to receive panicked calls from parents and that the state has “slashed in-home medical services for disabled children,” leaving them no place to go other than nursing homes. “The state has cut funding for 24-hour in-home nursing and other home based services for children on ventilators, feeding tubes and other complicated technology,” and parents who are unable to care for their children have no choice but to send them to nursing homes that does not have the proper equipment or staff to help their children. Investigators visited several nursing homes and found that children were not exposed to “social, educational and recreational activities that are critical to child development.”

Feds threaten lawsuit over kids in nursing homes, September 26, 2012.

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“You have more freedom in prison and at least there you know when you are getting out,” says one disability advocate in regards to Florida’s Institute for Neurologic Rehabilitation (FINR), one of the largest rehabilitation centers for brain injured patients in the country. Over the past decade, hundreds of reports have unveiled abuse at the facility, yet it remains open with its beds full. FINR is a private facility that houses patients suffering from all types of brain injuries, including memory loss, physical handicaps, inability to control violent anger and sexual aggression. However, because FINR is a for-profit facility, it is selective of the residents it accepts and typically only accepts those who can pay for their own care, via settlements or state aid, because such care can reach $1,850 per day. Peter Price, a resident who swallowed five fish hooks and 22 AA batteries as an escape mechanism, and his family have instrumental in exposing that horrid conditions and abuse that many residents suffer at FINR. Over twenty former and current patients have spoken out about the abuse at FINR and many have filed for criminal charges and civil lawsuits. Many contend that Florida law enforcement and medical examiners have been instrumental in masking that history of violence and death that exists at FINR.

Florida’s Department of Children and Families has received almost 500 abuse allegations since 2005 and law enforcement has “verified” almost forty of those complaints. Currently, three FINR employees are facing criminal charges for abusing residents. Two staffers have been charged for abusing an autistic patient after a video surfaced of them punching, elbowing and slapping the patient because he was making noise as they were trying to watch television. Another video surfaced depicting a staff member as he pulls another autistic patient from his seat, kicks the patient’s legs out from underneath him and throws him to the ground. In 2005, a former Marine died from “positional asphyxia” after FINR employees pinned him face down until he was no longer breathing. His family received $5 million in their negligence suit against FINR. Two other families settled confidential lawsuits with FINR for the death of their loved ones in 2005.

Last year, a patient who was to be fed via a feeding tube died from choking on food a staff member served him that he was unable to eat. Other residents stated that they were often “taken down” and beaten by staff members. Another patient claimed a staff member kicked her in the face with a boot. While admitting that she sometimes needed to be restrained, she claims that the force and frequency FINR staff members used was unnecessary. Additionally, the patient received none of her ordered psychological therapy, despite paying $310,000 annually to FINR. Also, the medical examiner concluded the cause of death for a patient who died less than six months after being admitted to the facility as “Sudden Ventricular Arrhythmia due to Schizophrenia.” The patient had never been declared schizophrenic and the medical examiner was unable to remember why she concluded the patient was schizophrenic. The patient was to be monitored 24 hours a day, but died while her night monitor was asleep.

Over the past four years, twenty one patients have been pulled from the facility because a D.C. investigation revealed that FINR violated its patient’s human rights by restricting their communications with people outside of the facility, reading emails and using drugs as a form of punishment. FINR often prohibits the out of state patients from travelling home to attend hearings. Additionally, FINR accepts mentally ill patients even though its license is for brain-injured patients.

Abuse of Brain Injured Americans Scandalizes U.S., July 24, 2012.

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