Florida nursing home deaths after Irma ruled homicides

FILE- This Sept. 13, 2017, file photo, police surround the Rehabilitation Center in Hollywood Hills, Fla. At first there was no hint of distress in the 911 calls, no sense of a crisis unfolding. But newly released emergency calls from the sweltering Florida nursing home that lost its air conditioning to Hurricane Irma showed staffers becoming increasing agitated by a disaster that would eventually claim 14 elderly lives. (John McCall/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP, File)

BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – The Broward County medical examiner’s office is classifying the deaths of 12 patients at a Hollywood nursing home as homicides, NBC 6 reports.  

The patients died in September after Hurricane Irma knocked out power at The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills.

Officials ruled the manner of death as a homicide with the cause of death attributed to environmental heat exposure, according to a release from Hollywood Police.

In a letter to Congress, the nursing home’s legal representation said the staff followed proper protocols and had been closely monitoring the patients, none of which exhibited any sign of heat exhaustion. He added that temperature inside the facility never exceeded 81 degrees, which was within standards, NBC 6 reports.

“The onset of heat stroke is impossible to predict and can occur in 10 to 15 minutes,” he said.

Click here to read the full report.

Information on deceased:

  1. Carolyn Eatherly, DOB 8-13-39
  2. Gail Nova, DOB 2-22-46
  3. Estella Hendricks, DOB1-4-46
  4. Bobby Owens, DOB 5-16-33
  5. Miguel Franco, DOB 9-5-25
  6. Manuel Mendieta, DOB 8-26-21
  7. Albertina Vega, DOB 10-10-17
  8. Betty Hibbard, DOB 1-11-33
  9. Carlos Canal, DOB 11-4-23
  10. Martha Murray, DOB 1-10-23
  11. Alice Thomas, DOB 2-27-23
  12. Dolores Biamonte, DOB 2-25-60
  13. Cecilia Franco, DOB 4-2-27
  14. Francesca Andrade, DOB 12-7-21

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