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HOLLYWOOD (CBSMiami) – There was a call to action Tuesday following the heat-related deaths of eight seniors in their Hollywood nursing home where there was no power after Irma.
Miami Congresswoman Frederica Wilson led the charge inside the North Miami Beach city commission chambers, calling to strengthen compliance and standards at long-term care facilities in our state.
Lawsuits are mounting and so is the anger felt by families who say this was a preventable tragedy.
“You have 8 people dead. Why didn’t they call 911 and get these people the hell out of there?” said Ray Nizario.
Nizario is angry.
Angry for the 8 elderly residents of The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills who died in sweltering conditions.
Angry his 94-year-old mother-in-law barely escaped with her life.
Rosa Cabrera, a diabetic and a double amputee, was one of 141 Patients evacuated after the air conditioning failed in the wake of Hurricane Irma
“She was asking for water that night, and they never got water but they did get her a fan,” Nizario said.
Cabrera’s family is suing the center among the growing list of lawsuits claiming the nursing home was negligent preparing for the storm and reacting to the rapidly deteriorating Conditions.
“They have blamed this on FPL. They have blamed this on the governor,” said attorney Gary Cohen, “but they don’t blame it on themselves.”
Gov. Rick Scott is now ordering all nursing homes to have backup generators and enough fuel to last four days.
It comes too late for grieving families of the eight who died.
The families of 96-year-old Manuel Mandieta and 76-year-old Carolyn Etherly are suing the nursing home and FPL.
“There are more than five or six communications between Florida Power & Light and the facility trying to get somebody to come out and restore energy,” said attorney Carlos Silva.
Administrators at the facility said their calls went unanswered.
The investigation is ongoing.