Governor Rick Scott stayed true to his word this week by implementing several new safety standards and regulations for assisted living facilities in the state of Florida. Scott had vowed to take action after it was discovered that multiple nursing homes and ACF’s throughout the state were ill-equipped to deal with natural disasters and the problems that arise in the days immediately afterwards.
Back in September, Hurricane Irma ravaged southern Florida, causing statewide power outages to millions of its commercial and residential customers. In particular, the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills was tragically affected when fourteen elderly residents lost their lives as a result of sweltering hot temperatures combined with the facility’s inability to sufficiently cool their residents and create a sustainable living situation for its tenants in the aftermath of the storm.
The new set of rules put into motion by the governor this week requires all assisted living facilities and nursing homes in Florida to have an alternative source of power, like a backup generator for example, in the event of an electrical emergency. Additional requirements include the power source being able to maintain power for no less than 96 hours, and it should keep the facility’s temperature from reaching anything higher than 81 degrees.
On Monday afternoon, Florida’s Department of Elderly Affairs stated that nearly 1,250 nursing homes and assisted living facilities had yet to comply with the new regulations, which go into effect today. Noncompliance will result in a $1000/day fine, as well as license revocation. “We are working very hard to update our information about nonresponsive facilities. We did hear from some assisted living facilities who should not have been on the list, and we immediately went to work to verify the information and correct our list where appropriate. In doing so, however, we have found that the number of nonresponsive facilities actually increased, and we continue to work with facilities to help them follow the guidelines laid out in the rule,” DOEA Secretary Jeffrey Bragg said in a press release.
At the Law Offices of James O. Cunningham, P.A., we have been providing caring & compassionate legal representation to nursing home abuse victims and families for over thirty-five years. To schedule a free initial consultation, contact us today at 877-FL-INJURY.
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James O. Cunningham
Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.
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