Nursing Home Neglect Claims in Florida

One might expect that Florida nursing homes recruit some of the best nursing staff available because they care for one of society’s most vulnerable populations. However, given the track record of most Florida nursing homes, that does not seem to be the case. Indeed, it seems as though every few days there is a new report of abuse or neglect at a Florida nursing home. According to recent estimates by the World Health Organization, nearly two out of three nursing home staff members have reported that they engaged in some type of abuse over the past year. The number of instances involving nursing home neglect is more difficult to determine because residents report such a small percentage of the cases. However, it is estimated that approximately 12% of nursing home resid...

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Arbitration in Cases Against Florida Nursing Homes

Over the past few decades, there has been a drastic increase in the number of dual-income households. While this allows for both spouses to have a fulfilling career, it also frequently prevents adult children from caring for their aging parents, which is a full-time job in itself. Thus, along with the increase in dual-income households has come a corresponding increase in the need for nursing homes to care for older Americans. While most Florida nursing homes are reputable establishments that strive to provide an adequate level of care to all residents, each month there are dozens of reports of Florida nursing home abuse and neglect. In the event of Florida nursing home abuse or neglect, the resident or their loved ones may pursue a claim for compensation against the...

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Arbitration Contracts in Florida Nursing Home Lawsuits

Equal access to the court system is one of our country’s most fundamental rights. Regardless of a person’s background or economic status, the United States Constitution guarantees everyone’s right use the courts to resolve disputes among parties. However, that right, like many others, can be waived. Chances are, anyone who has dealt with a claim against a Florida nursing home is familiar with the concept of arbitration. Arbitration is a form of dispute resolution outside the traditional court system, in which a private arbitrator hears the case and renders a decision. Generally speaking, those parties who engage in frequent litigation prefer arbitration because it offers a quicker, cheaper, and confidential way to handle cases. Arbitration, however, can present some potentially serious problems for individual litigants, including Florida nursing home residents and their families...

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Arbitration Agreements in Florida Personal Injury Lawsuits

Earlier this month, an appellate court issued a written opinion in a Florida nursing home negligence case dealing with the validity of an arbitration agreement that was signed by the plaintiff on behalf of her deceased husband. The case required the court to determine whether the court or the arbitration panel named in the agreement should determine whether certain clauses contained in the arbitration agreement were severable from the rest of the contract. Ultimately, the court concluded that the severability of the clauses was properly before the court because the arbitration agreement contained no “delegation” clause. Arbitration Agreements Generally When someone is injured due to the alleged negligence of another person or business, the injure...

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Florida Supreme Court Clarifies the Scope of “Amendment 7” in Recent Personal Injury Case

Before a Florida medical malpractice lawsuit proceeds to trial, the parties go through the pre-trial discovery process, in which each side requests information of the other side that they believe will be relevant in the case. While most relevant material is discoverable, historically some categories of evidence have not been discoverable because they fit within a privilege. In 2004, Florida citizens amended their constitution, adding a “right to have access to any records made or received in the course of business by a health care facility or provider relating to any adverse medical incident.” This has come to be known as Amendment 7. Recently, the Florida Supreme Court issued a written opinion clarifying how far Amendment 7 reaches. The Facts ...

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South Florida Nursing Home Named in Post-Irma Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Now that Hurricane Irma has come and gone, it’s time for Florida to start the rebuilding process. While the wrath of Irma may not have been what many news outlets claimed it would be, the storm was still severe, displacing hundreds of thousands and leaving millions of Floridians without power. Florida nursing homes were also affected by the storm, as well as the subsequent power outages. In fact, according to a recent news report, one nursing home is currently facing a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the surviving loved one of a resident who died in the aftermath of the storm. According to the report, the plaintiff in the case is the daughter of a 94-year-old woman who was a resident in a South Florida nursing home where eight reside...

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Florida Courts Continue to Invalidate Improperly Executed Arbitration Contracts in Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Cases

Earlier this month, the District Court of Appeal for Florida’s Second District issued a written opinion in a nursing home negligence case. The issue the court had to decide was whether the arbitration clause that was signed by the deceased resident’s daughter could bind the resident’s estate in a subsequent wrongful death lawsuit against the nursing home. The court held that the agreement could not bind the estate to arbitrate, and it allowed the estate to pursue its claims through the court system. The Facts of the Case The case arose after a nursing home resident died while in the care of the defendant nursing home. At the time of her death, as well as prior to her admission to the nursing home, the re...

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Florida Appellate Court Refuses to Enforce Arbitration Agreement in Nursing Home Negligence Case

Earlier this month, the District Court of Appeal of Florida’s Second District issued a written opinion in a nursing home negligence case, invalidating an arbitration agreement signed by one of the resident’s sons. As a result of the court’s decision, the estate of the deceased resident will not be required to argue their claim in front of an arbitration panel, and may file a personal injury case in the Florida court system. The Facts of the Case The nursing home resident was admitted into a nursing home in 2013. Before admission, her son, who had valid power of attorney for his mother, signed the nursing home contract. Included in the contract was an arbitration clause by which the parties agreed any clai...

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South Florida Nurses Ask for Training on Handling Ebola Cases

Earlier this month, the first case of Ebola was documented in the United States. The first case was a Texas man who had recently returned from a trip to Liberia. He died 14 days after he was exposed to the deadly virus. Shortly after his death, a healthcare worker started to develop symptoms of Ebola. The healthcare worker was diagnosed with Ebola and underwent a course of treatment for the disease, luckily recovering 14 days after diagnosis. Just days after the first healthcare worker was diagnosed, another hospital employee was then diagnosed with Ebola, bringing the total count to three. This person, however, flew to Atlanta the day before diagnosis, so all passengers on the two flights needed to be screened. The Centers for Disease Control is currently conducting the necessary screens. According to a Continue reading →