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Florida 788 articles

Nurse arrested for leaving 21 assisted living residents alone

Episania Fitzgerald was working her nursing shift at Pine Tree Manor assisted living facility in Largo, Fla., Friday night, but she had someplace better to be. Since she was the only staff member on duty that night, she called on a resident at the home to be in charge of the other residents in her absence. Fitzgerald then walked out the doors, leaving the 21 frail and elderly residents alone. But when Fitzgerald returned 2 ½ hours later, the facility was overrun with firefighters and deputies, according to the St. Petersburg (Florida) Times. While Fitzgerald was out of the building ... Read More

Florida Medicaid recipients want to choose where to live

Nearly 8,500 Florida Medicaid recipients have filed a federal lawsuit seeking class action status for forcing them to live in nursing homes instead of where they choose, according to the Associated Press/Miami Herald. The lawsuit names the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, the Florida Department of Elder Affairs and Florida Gov. Charlie Crist’s office. Medicaid, which is the state-federal body that provides health coverage and nursing home care to the poor, pays nursing homes millions each year for treating patients who qualify for Medicaid. Advocates for the elderly contend that nursing homes have successfully lobbied politicians to make qualifying ... Read More

Nursing home investigated for harming 12-year-old foster child

Most people identify the elderly as being the victims of abuse and neglect in a skilled nursing environment. But when it is reported that a nursing home is under investigation for burning a physically and mentally impaired foster child, it is a travesty. Today, the Miami Herald reported that three state agencies and Miami-Dade police were investigating how second-degree burns were found on a 12-year-old girl living in the Florida Club Care Center. The girl, who is a foster child, suffers from severe cerebral palsy, is unable to communicate and is completely dependent on others for activities of daily living. ... Read More

How much is your life worth?

So how much do you think your life is worth? $100M? $20M? $420? According to a 1973 General Motors memo, the value of your life is $200,000. Evidently, GM saved over $250M by letting a few hundred people burn to death in their cars. For nearly 30 years, automobile manufacturers have skirted the issue of fundamental design flaws that make cars prone to catch fire when involved in a crash. Engineers know how to relocate fuel tanks to make them less likely to leak or suffer punctures, but manufacturers have never been held responsible for ensuring their vehicles are safe. ... Read More

Deadly crash spurs tire valve recall

A deadly rollover auto crash in Florida prompted a federal investigation and recall of 6 million tire valve stems after investigators alleged the accident was caused by a cracked stem, according to a report published in Lawyers USA. The recalled product was manufactured in China by Shanghai Baolong Automotive Corp. between July 2006 and November 2006. There could be as many as 36 million of the potentially defective stems currently in use on a variety of automobiles. The investigation revealing the valve stem defects resulted from a lawsuit filed by the widow of Robert Monk, of Orlando, Fla., who was ... Read More

FEMA Trailers Toxic

On May 25, MSNBC reported that investigation continues in cases of illness resulting from FEMA trailers provided to evacuees from 2005’s Hurricane Katrina. Formaldehyde was detected in the travel trailers and mobile homes in unusually high levels, and about 17,000 people are claiming the homes caused illnesses for themselves or loved ones. This report was written by MSNBC’s Spencer S. Hsu. WASHINGTON – Within days of Hurricane Katrina’s landfall in August 2005, frantic officials at the Federal Emergency Management Agency ordered nearly $2.7 billion worth of trailers and mobile homes to house the storm’s victims, many of them using a ... Read More

decorated veteran abuse victim

A daughter was horrified when she found that her 82-year-old father had been badly neglected while in a Florida nursing home. The WWII veteran entered the nursing home at the recommendation of hospice workers, due to serious lung problems and the inability to use his legs. They recommended the more constant care provided in a nursing home environment. Unfortunately, the man’s condition deteriorated in the facility due to apparent neglect. Anthony Vincent Digiannurio was eventually taken to the Florida Hospital DeLand by ambulance, where he was initially admitted for respiratory problems. However, after examining him, hospital staff were shocked to ... Read More

A patient an advocate a fixer

When it comes to her health, Laurel Lewis is positively fearless. The 54-year-old Minneapolis woman has stared down a rare breed of late-stage cancer. And last year, she technically died after her heart stopped beating, but luckily her near-fatal attack occurred just outside Fairview Southdale Hospital in Edina. She left the hospital with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) made by Medtronic Inc. tucked inside her chest, a kind of medical-device insurance policy intended to shock her heart back into rhythm if she goes into sudden cardiac arrest. “I have faced the darkest day,” she said recently. But on Oct. 15, ... Read More