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Hialeah nursing home fined for pest infestation

An assisted-living facility in Hialeah has to clean up its act after Florida health care regulators fined them $1,000 after the discovery of bedbugs in three of eight rooms. In addition, the nursing home failed to offer proper treatment for a person affected by bedbug bites in one of the three rooms.

The parasitic blood-drinking insects were seen "crawling on the walls" during a snap inspection of the facility by Florida's Agency for Health Care Administration. A separate inspection by the state's Department of Health found bedbugs in 12 rooms. Inspectors concluded that best control visits were infrequent and the fumigation process designed to eliminate bedbugs was clearly ineffective.

Nursing home residents in the Sunshine State are protected by the "Resident Bill of Rights," a law that guarantees health care provided up to a recognized community standard. These include safe, clean and decent environments for living and care, as well as an expectation of freedom from abuse and neglect, across all of Florida.

The Dade County assisted-living facility may be subject to further fines, punitive measures or even closure if they do not keep standards up to the Resident Bill of Rights. The organization and the responsible employees may also be sued for financial damages and/or rectification of the Bill of Rights' violations.

Damages may reimburse nursing home residents for medical expenses after substandard care, as well as compensate them for pain, emotional distress and actual costs such as legal expenses. An attorney may help victims and their families determine the best defendants and claims for a lawsuit seeking to end nursing home abuse or neglect.

Source: WLRN, "State Fines Assisted Living Facility In Hialeah Over Bedbugs," March 29, 2018

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