Woman, 94, Sues 'Reckless' Nursing Home Where 8 Died

Lawsuit accuses Fla. facility of 'indifference'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 18, 2017 2:30 AM CDT
Survivor, 94, Sues Nursing Home Where 8 Died
Messages left on the sidewalk of the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills nursing home a day after eight people died.   (Pedro Portal/Miami Herald via AP)

(Newser) – A 94-year-old woman who survived the post-Hurricane Irma air-conditioning failure that left eight people dead at a Florida nursing home is suing the facility, accusing it of "reckless and negligent indifference." A lawsuit filed on behalf of Rose Cabrera states that she's a double amputee "without the ability to walk or live independently" who had been assured that she'd be safe at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills despite the storm, ABC News reports. The lawsuit states that Cabrera, who was unaware that the home had no emergency generator capable of powering its AC system, was hospitalized with heat-related injuries after the system failed for days.

The home should have known the storm was likely to cause a power failure that would lead to unsafe temperatures, but it made no effort to "relocate the elderly and vulnerable residents or to secure an adequate cooling system for the center," the lawsuit states. The nursing home says staff repeatedly called emergency hotlines in the days after the power failed Sept. 10. On Saturday, Gov. Rick Scott issued emergency rules to prevent similar tragedies, the AP reports. They include requiring nursing homes and similar facilities to have enough resources on hand to make sure comfortable temperatures can be maintained for at least 96 hours after a power outage. (Read more Hurricane Irma stories.)

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