In the Spring of 2011, the Miami Herald published a comprehensive multi-part investigative article on ALF abuse and neglect. It was an attempt to shed light on the deplorable conditions elderly, infirm, and vulnerable Floridians were living in at Assisted Living Facilities across the state. Attorney William A. Dean and the Law Firm of Ford & Dean, P.A., were widely quoted in this comprehensive investigative expose and, in fact, the Miami Herald focused on Ford & Dean's ALF abuse and neglect trial on behalf of KAREN PAGONO, as Personal Representative of the Estate of FRANCES TREMBLAY, vs. HILLSBORO MANAGEMENT, LLC, d/b/a LIVING LEGENDS RETIREMENT CENTER. William A. Dean & Michael J. Rotundo were successful in obtaining a jury verdict in the amount of $2.4 Million Dollars against the Defendant for the horrific abuse and neglect Frances Tremblay suffered while a resident at the Defendant ALF. As a result of this substantial verdict, William A. Dean & Michael J. Rotundo were introduced into the Daily Business Review's 2014 Florida Verdicts Hall of Fame.
When Miami residents take their elderly relatives to a nursing home they expect those loved ones to receive the care they need and deserve. This care does not only mean that nursing home residents receive proper medication and nutrition, but also that they receive proper supervision as well. A failure in any of these areas can constitute nursing home neglect and leave a resident with serious injuries, or it can sometimes even be fatal. These incidences can happen anywhere at any time, so it is important that Miami residents are informed of these cases so they can detect when nursing home neglect has taken place.
A great number of hospital patients are placed on medication during their stay and after they leave. Not surprisingly, Miami patients take these medications without a second thought. And they should not have to second guess their doctor's prescription. Years of training should allow doctors to avoid medication errors. Yet, incidents of prescribing the wrong medicine or defective medications still happen often enough for concern.
Nursing homes throughout the nation, and in Florida, serve an important purpose in our society. These institutions are meant to provide quality care to the elderly when that care cannot be received at home. Families rightly expect nursing homes to treat their patients like family. This means safety should come first.
A recent state inspection of a Florida hospital has led to a citation for a shortage of nurses on staff. The review found nine nursing units were at least one nurse short of state mandated standards, which is considered a risk to patient safety. Though the hospital has hired enough nurses to fill the gap since the report was filed, these state inspections occur only periodically, and many southern Florida hospitals may face similar staffing shortfalls for extensive periods of time.
According to recent data from the United States Census Bureau, there are currently 40 million people over the age of 65 living in the U.S. In addition, the baby boomer generation is now living longer than generations before. The number of people who are living to age 90 and beyond has more than tripled in the past 30 years. Currently, there are 2 million people aged 90 and older in Miami and across the country, and that number is expected to quadruple by 2050.
When we are admitted to a hospital, we want to think that the medical professionals in charge of our care are competent and dedicated to providing the best quality of care. Unfortunately, that is not always the cases. Due to hospital negligence or simple mistakes, harmful errors occur, and they all-too-often lead to injury or even death.
One would expect that assisted-living facilities would abide by only the strictest of standards, as the clientele they serve, the elderly, are often in need of medical help. Unfortunately, such expectations are not always fulfilled and some Florida residents may be shocked to hear that prosecutors have begun an investigation into such facilities in the Miami area. The investigation comes after a local newspaper published a series of reports focusing on the ever growing problem of nursing home abuse and neglect.
It is no secret that Florida is home to many elderly people, and stories of nursing home neglect are taken seriously here. The sad truth is nursing home abuse takes place nationwide. One of the most shocking examples of nursing home neglect comes out of Tennessee, where even the staff was appalled by the conditions.
For many of Florida's elderly, there comes a time in their lives when either they cannot take care of themselves any longer due to their age, or their medical condition is of such a severe nature that their children or other loved ones are unable to provide the necessary care for them. At that time, the decision may be made to place the loved one in a nursing home. The family likely does not consider the risk of nursing home abuse, as they probably assume that their loved one will be well cared for in their new environment. In a recent case, a woman is claiming that nursing home neglect led to the death of her mother.