In a move supported by James O. Cunningham and other Orlando elder abuse attorneys, a Senate committee recently vowed to close unlicensed assisted living facilities (ALFs) in Florida. The committee responded to a recent article in the Miami Herald that revealed many unlicensed ALF operators have been using loopholes in state laws to escape routine inspections by state agencies. The article found many facilities that claimed to be rooming houses, shelters or “sober homes” but were, for all intents and purposes, ALFs with deplorable conditions for residents. One operator had a criminal history which would have prevented them from owning or operating a licensed ALF.
A series of articles published in recent months in the Miami Herald have shed light on elder abuse occurring in many state-run assisted living facilities, and it appears that Florida lawmakers are taking steps to toughen oversight of these facilities. The newspaper found that elder abuse is rampant in state facilities, often with little or no repercussions for the at-fault parties or the state agencies responsible for oversight. Orlando personal injury lawyer James O. Cunningham was alarmed to learn of the abuse in many state nursing homes and applauds Florida legislators for the recent passage of committee bills 7176 and 7174.