Nursing Home Employees Charged in FL Hurricane Scandal

Nursing Home Employees Charged in FL Hurricane Scandal
  • Nursing staff at the Rehabilitation Center of Hollywood in FL allegedly neglected patients.
  • Some were left alone, begging for help in the sweltering heat, for hours.
  • At least 12 patients died as a result of the neglect; others were injured.
  • The tragic events spurred on one of the largest investigations in US history.

Hurricane Irma was a devastating loss to the state of Florida and the city of Hollywood back in September of 2017. But the unfathomable effect it had at the Rehabilitation Center of Hollywood Hills? That’s unforgivable.

Four employees of the facility are now being charged with felony aggravated manslaughter due to patient neglect during the storm. Power was cut from the facility and temperatures began to rise. Eventually, the conditions led to heat stroke and heat-related illnesses in the patients, 12 of whom passed away as a result. Rising water and lack of clean food and water, as well as multiple failures to provide medical care, cost those patients their lives.

A terrible tragedy that never should have taken place…

-Police Chief Chris O’Brien

Patients who couldn’t care for themselves or phone for help were left in a sweltering facility with no assistance. In addition, the employees charged also tampered with evidence to cover up their crimes in addition to ignoring each patient’s cry for help.

Those charged are fighting the allegations stating that they did, in fact, call emergency operations, but they either never responded or just didn’t come. Workers also claim they were too short-staffed to effectively carry out proper patient care.

O’Brien states the 2-year investigation is one of the most extensive criminal inquiries in the agency’s history. In connection with the US Department of Health and Human Services and the State Attorney’s office, they collected evidence in the case from 400 hours of surveillance video, computer data, and interviews with over 500 people. The investigation is ongoing and more arrests are likely.

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