The Hollywood nursing home facing a criminal investigation for nine residents’ deaths after Hurricane Irma is suing the state.
The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills filed a lawsuit Tuesday in Leon Circuit Court claiming Gov. Rick Scott violated the home’s due process rights by cutting it from the Medicaid program and stopping new patients from being admitted. The complaint was filed as news came of a ninth patient’s death following the home’s power outage last week.
“With the stroke of a pen, [the Agency for Health Care Administration] has effectively shut down Hollywood Hills as a nursing home provider in Broward County,” the lawsuit claims. “These illegal and improper administrative orders took effect immediately and without any opportunity for the facility to defend itself against unfounded allegations.”
The lawsuit was filed by Timothy B. Elliott of Smith & Associates in Tallahassee.
The case has been assigned to Leon Circuit Judge James Shelfer. Scott’s office released a statement and a government timeline of events at the nursing home Wednesday.
“No amount of finger pointing by the Hollywood Hills Rehabilitation Facility and [parent company] Larkin Community Hospital Behavioral Health Services will hide the fact that this healthcare facility failed to do their basic duty to protect life,” Scott said in the statement. “This facility is failing to take responsibility for the fact that they delayed calling 911 and made the decision to not evacuate their patients to one of the largest hospitals in Florida, which is directly across the street. The more we learn about this, the more concerning this tragedy is.”
At least four South Florida law firms have announced lawsuits against the nursing home on behalf of patients and their families so far.