On Nov. 30, 2016, an elderly woman in her 80s was brought to Mariners Hospital after she had a seizure and her heart stopped.
Her physical condition was appalling as she was bleeding, covered in urine and feces, and had severe bed sores indicating abject neglect, according to court documents.
Doctors and nurses transported her to Homestead Hospital where she died the next day of septic pneumonia.
The woman’s death led investigators with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Department of Children and Families to discover two unlicensed elderly care facilities: one in Plantation Key and the other, a trailer in Key Largo. Six patients, all over 80, lived at the two homes.
All the patients were in wheelchairs, had mental disorders and were prescribed either antipsychotic or anti-anxiety medications. They were all incontinent and required extra skin care and to be frequently turned over so their skin would not blister from exposure to their own waste.
None of the patients received anywhere near the proper care they needed for their conditions, which require 24-hour attention. Some were not being treated at all, according to court documents.
The facilities were operated by a 67-year-old doctor who was arrested at his Miami Beach home last June on two counts of aggravated neglect of an elderly person or disabled adult.
A 49-year-old woman, who was running the facilities on site despite having no medical training, was charged with the same crimes.
Both have pleaded not guilty to the charges and are out of jail awaiting trial. Their next court appearance, a status update, is scheduled for Oct. 30 at the Plantation Key courthouse.
Investigators also said the doctor was billing Medicare and being paid for services he was not providing.
Abuse and neglect in nursing homes and assisted living facilities occur every day across the country. Nursing home and assisted living facility negligence includes failing to protect residents from health and safety hazards. Negligence can result in injuries such as broken bones, bedsores, dehydration, malnutrition, and other medical conditions which cause harm and even wrongful death.
Our Florida Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can help you and your loved ones fight to recover everything you deserve. We are experienced in nursing home negligence matters, and will thoroughly and carefully assess each individual case. We prepare each case for trial in order to obtain maximum compensation for injuries, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. We want to help victims and their families hold these facilities accountable.