Fight Brews About Nursing Home Lawsuits

Jan 9, 2018

The deaths of 12 residents at The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills in September has reignited a legislative battle between the state's trial attorneys and the nursing-home industry over residents' rights to sue long-term care providers.

State Paid Millions Settling Harassment Cases

Nov 28, 2017
mnfoundations / Flickr

The state of Florida has paid more than $11 million over a 30-year period to settle hundreds of cases that alleged that state workers were sexually harassed by supervisors and co-workers, or were forced to work in a hostile work environment.

When appendicitis struck a young mother vacationing in St. Pete Beach eight years ago, she was rushed to Palms of Pasadena Hospital. There, Dr. Ernest Rehnke removed her appendix.

Evan Granowitz / Flickr

The family of a Florida autistic man has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit over a 2016 police shooting in which the man's caretaker was wounded.

Jolted by a “60 Minutes” expose, some Florida lawmakers want to deal with a blizzard of so-called “drive-by” Americans With Disabilities Act lawsuits.

Hospital Chain Ends Long-Running Tax Dispute With Florida

Apr 13, 2016

A major hospital chain is settling a long-running tax dispute with the state of Florida.

Records show HCA Holdings, the parent company of the Nashville-based HCA, signed an agreement with Florida officials in late March to drop three lawsuits. The lawsuits relate to disputes over how much in corporate income taxes HCA paid to the state.

Associated Press

Florida Gov. Rick Scott sued the Obama administration Tuesday, charging that federal officials are coercing the state to expand Medicaid in order to get $1 billion in federal hospital funds.

The Republican governor points to a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court decision saying the federal government can't coerce states to expand Medicaid, which is exactly what he says the Obama administration is doing by withholding hospital funds.

  A hospital social worker is suing Broward Health, saying officials refused to let her return to work after she underwent a double mastectomy and refused to undergo a health screening, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports.

Florida Hospital

The family of a schizophrenic and developmentally disabled woman filed suit against Florida Hospital for allegedly trying to cover up a sexual assault the woman suffered while in its Orlando psychiatric ward, the Orlando Sentinel reports. 

The woman was assaulted by another psychiatric patient, Antoine Maurice Davis, who is currently serving six-years in prison for the sexual battery, according to the Sentinel

A lawsuit filed against Tampa’s Laser Spine Institute alleges the center offered illegal incentives to entice patients to have surgery there, Bloomberg Businessweek reports. In a lawsuit filed in Hillsborough County Circuit Court, the owner of competitor Bonati Institute also accuses the spine-surgery competitor of interfering with business by using “secret shoppers.”   

Volusia County jail officials are reconsidering their contract with the nation’s largest private prison health care provider, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.

Corizon Health includes Volusia County among its more than 500 prison and jail contracts across the nation.It also is playing part in Gov. Rick Scott’s efforts to privatize prison health care, the News-Journal said.

So many disabled-access complaints are brought in Florida that it has become a kind of lawsuit mill, with insurers paying quick settlements and lawyers profiting. But critics say the whole point -- increasing access to facilities for the disabled -- is ignored, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports.

Associated Press

Across the country, thousands of people are suing the makers of metal-on-metal hip implants, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports. One Florida attorney is handling more than 100 of those lawsuits. Patients claim the hips have caused them nothing but pain and problems, and fail after just a few years.  (Editor’s note: Users may encounter paywall.) 

New rules for physicians and others who testify in medical malpractice cases will kick in July 1, but the Florida Board of Medicine is already showing zero tolerance for “experts” who may not measure up, the Tampa Tribune reports.

In a budget meeting that wrapped up at 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday, lawmakers struck deals on several items in a way that bypasses the regular committee process, the Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau reports.  One of the measures is a new formula for billing counties for their share of Medicaid costs -- a decision that  has severe financial repercussions for hospitals. 

The House Health and Human Services Committee had a dilemma when Rep. Matt Gaetz presented his trauma-center bill Tuesday. Members who represent rural areas, as well as some from suburbs, wanted to deregulate it, letting hospitals build Level 2 (Intermediate) trauma centers if they want to. But members who represent urban areas that already have trauma centers -- especially Level 1 centers like Jackson Memorial and Tampa General -- are afraid the suburban competitors would undermine their centers, financially and medically.

Florida House

Florida's Legislature has already made it harder to file lawsuits against doctors than against anyone else. Now it wants to crank that up another notch and also spare hospitals and nursing homes from many lawsuits.