Have You Been Injured? We're Ready to Fight for You.

8 Die in Florida Nursing Home Due to No Air Conditioning

Published on Sep 14, 2017 at 5:10 pm in Nursing Home Abuse.

A disheartening news story made headlines in the New York Times yesterday after 8 nursing home residents were found dead in a Hollywood, Florida facility that was overwhelmingly hot without a working air conditioning system. The nursing home’s AC system was knocked out during Hurricane Irma and had not been fixed yet. The facility did have working power otherwise, however, which has raised several questions among city officials and the community.

The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills started sending residents to the nearest hospital early in the morning when residents began reaching critical health conditions. After the hospital received 3 residents from the same home, the staff members decided to investigate the nursing home personally and found conditions that were unsettling. The facility was reported as being almost unbearably hot. They went room to room, checking on residents—and found three dead in their beds.

The staff at Memorial Regional Hospital leapt into action and set up a triage outside the facility to relocate residents to a cooler environment. Rescue units carried more than 100 residents outside. More than 40 needed to be hospitalized for difficulties breathing. 4 were so sick they died at the hospital. An 8th deceased resident was found later who had been delivered to a mortuary.

Conditions in Hollywood, Florida on Wednesday were uncomfortably warm, peaking at about 92 subtropical degrees and humid. The nursing home’s air conditioning unit had not been fixed yet due to actions that needed to be taken by Florida Power & Light. The power company understandably had a lot on its plate after Hurricane Irma, but anyone who is reading this article and/or witnessed the situation realizes that these deaths could have been prevented had the residents been evacuated.

The Hollywood Police Department has opened a criminal investigation surrounding the eight deaths. During a moratorium held regarding the incident, most questions were left unanswered. While it’s required for most Florida nursing homes to keep temperatures between 71 and 81 degrees, facilities certified before 1990 do not have to keep temperatures between that range. They must, however, still keep temperatures that are both “safe and comfortable”. It’s apparent that this facility was neither.

Nursing homes have a legal duty to protect their residents. While the staff took the correct first steps during this situation by attempting to get the AC unit fixed as quickly as possible, when those efforts failed, they could have taken steps to evacuate the facility. Staff members reportedly tried to set up alternative cooling methods instead.

As part of the investigation, the police will determine an exact cause of death for the deceased residents. The investigation team has not ruled out other possible causes of death besides heat exhaustion.

If someone you love was in a similar situation in a nursing home or you believe they may be getting abused or neglected in a long term care facility in Kentucky or elsewhere, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Thomas Law Offices today. Our Louisville nursing home abuse lawyers work hard to ensure our clients can recover—and that facilities don’t get away with harming residents in any way.


Meet Your Team

Tad Thomas - Trial Lawyer

Tad Thomas

Managing Partner

Tad Thomas has dedicated his practice to representing plaintiffs in various types of civil litigation, including personal injury, business litigation, class actions, and multi-district litigation.

After graduating with his law degree in 2000 from Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University, Mr. Thomas immediately opened his own private practice and began representing injury victims.

In 2011, Thomas Law Offices was established in Louisville, Kentucky. Over the past decade, Mr. Thomas has expanded his firm and now has offices in three additional locations: Cincinnati, Ohio, Columbia, Missouri, and Chicago, Illinois. He is also a frequent lecturer on topics like trial skills and ethics and technology.

Free Case Evaluation

At Thomas Law Offices, our personal injury attorneys recognize that our potential clients are likely going through some of the most difficult times of their lives. We don't want you to have to worry about paying out-of-pocket for legal advice when you're just starting to learn your legal rights and options. That's why we provide free case evaluations. We'll offer our expert advice about your potential case and walk you through how we can help you.

Call us or fill out the form below to tell us about your potential case and a personal injury lawyer will get back to you as quickly as possible.

Legal & Firm News

When to See a Neurologist After a Car Accident

Doctors who specialize in disorders and injuries affecting the brain, spinal cord, and surrounding muscles and nerves are referred to as neurologists. For those involved in a car accident, visiting a neurologist may not be something that is initially considered. But too many people ignore the signs that their accident caused nerve damage, a spinal […]

Read More

How Climate Change May Affect Our Roads, Highways, and the Frequency of Car Accidents

On October 7, 2021, the White House announced the release of Climate Adaptation and Resilience Plans from more than 20 federal agencies, including the U.S. Departments of Education, Labor, Commerce, Homeland Security, and Transportation. These Climate Adaptation Plans detailed the methods that each agency’s facilities and operations would adopt in order to become increasingly resilient […]

Read More

Examining the Rise of Active Duty Military Suicides

For the past two decades, the question has been asked more and more frequently by researchers and the general public alike. Why is the suicide rate so high in the military? The Department of Defense Annual Suicide Report released in September 2021 showed an increase of 41.4% in active duty service member deaths by suicide […]

Read More