Call Adult Protective Services
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Let me state from the onset that I have an inherent bias against nursing homes and assisted living facilities in the State of Florida; believe that the majority of absolutely horrible stories regarding the neglect and abuse alleged to have occurred in any random facility in our State is more likely to have occurred than not; and that I find it incredible and reprehensible that our legislature has made it even easier for these facilities to escape liability for, or at least to evade the payment of damages for incidents of neglect and abuse by their staffmembers and employees, for whom they have vicarious liability, at a time when the truly horrific conditions one can find so frequently at Florida's long-term care facilities was finally being made plainly visible to many who would have otherwise failed to believe that these conditions could possibly exist, as alleged. For the last 13 years, of my 19 years of practice in the State of Florida, I have brought suit against Florida's nursing homes and assisted living facilities on behalf of the residents who often have no alternative but to accept placement at one of these facilities, and who all too often fall prey to not only the neglect, but the outright abuse, inflicted upon them by these facilities' staff members. All Floridians should be embarassed by what our legislature, and the regulatory bodies that theoretically govern and discipline these entities and their respective licensees, manager, and owners, have failed to do in so many ways and thereby broke the promise which they made to our elderly, impaired, injured, or otherwise defenseless citizens who have been essentially left to fend for themselves in a great many truly dangerous long-term care facilities. It is truly tragic.
In this particular instance, I feel terribly for your friend. Given your prior experience, the facts underlying which are not entirely clear to me, but which are irrelevant with respect to the answer which I am happy to provide to your question, you have a number of options. Your friend, him or herself, can place a call directly to the police; Adult Protective Services which falls within the province of the Department of Children and Families; the Ombudsman's Office; AHCA; or an attorney. You can do the same, if you choose to, and it may be necessary as I have the sense that your friend may not be physically capable of doing so. If your friend has local family members, perhaps it might be best to notify them of the situation and allow them to place a call to one ore more of these resources. Given your friend's injuries, which you have described, his or her family should make an effort to seek immediate medical treatment for him or her, and I can assure you that when an individual is transferred to a hospital's emergency department from a nursing home or ALF, photographs are almost invariably taken by the ED staff in order to demonstrate that the individual arrived or presented with those injuries and that same were not incurred while in the hospital's emergency department.
If you, your friend, or his or her family choose to contact an attorney, I always recommend that you contact three attorneys who have extensive experience in this area of specialized practice and that after speaking with those three attorneys you will likely feel a greater level of comfort with one of the three, simply as a matter of the interaction of personalities and so forth. There are many qualified attorneys who can be contacted through AVVO who have a great deal of experience in Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect. If you would like to contact my office for a free consultation, it would be my pleasure to be among the three attorneys with whom you consult. While I am in trial at the moment, I can be reached at various points throughout the day, while on breaks between witnesses. My number is (305) 972-5720. Once again, I am very sorry to hear that this has happened to your friend and hope that my colleagues and I
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