A Florida nursing home is under criminal investigation for the deaths of eight of its residents in the aftermath of hurricane Irma, according to Business Insider. The air conditioning within the nursing home was not operational after the hurricane hit, which lead to dangerously hot conditions inside the home. While staff had allegedly said that the home would be prepared for the storm with generators, the staff was not able to keep the temperatures down with the fans that they had on hand. Medical workers were called in, and quickly made the call to move all 141 residents to a hospital. The home had a below average grade from Medicare’s nursing home rating system, and the nursing home’s resident physician has violated state and federal laws in the past.
Neglect, according to statute 825.102, of an elderly person is the failure of a caregiver to provide care, supervision, and services necessary to maintain physical and mental health. It also includes a caregiver’s failure to make a reasonable effort to protect an elderly person from abuse, neglect, or exploitation by another. Neglect by willful or culpable negligence of an elderly person is a third degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison, if no great bodily injury, permanent disfigurement, or permanent disability occurs. It is a second degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison, if one of those outcomes does occur.
Abuse and Aggravated Abuse
Abuse of an elderly person is the intentional infliction of physical or psychological harm, and act that could be expected to cause harm, or encouraging another to commit such an act. Abuse that does not cause great bodily harm, permanent disability, or disfigurement is a third degree felony. Aggravated abuse of an elderly person is a first degree felony, punishable by up to 30 years in prison, and consists of:
- Aggravated battery;
- Willful torture;
- Malicious punishment;
- Willful and unlawful engagement;
- Abuse that causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or disfigurement.
Contact a West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney for Help
Serious criminal fines can occur from neglecting or abusing the elderly, whether that abuse takes place in a nursing home, in the home of the elderly person, or in the home of another whom the elderly person lives with. Family members, as well as nursing home staff, owners, and management, can all face serious jail time for nursing home abuse or neglect. If you have been arrested or are facing an investigation, contact a West Palm Beach attorney today. The experienced criminal defense attorneys of the Skier Law Firm are here to provide aggressive defense of your rights and will advocate on your behalf both in and out of court.