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Bloomberg Reports Abuse of Brain Injured Patients at Florida Facility

Posted on August 1, 2012

Looking at the Florida Institute for Neurologic Rehabilitation’s (FINR) website, you see an upscale facility nestled among palm trees along a placid lake. The company touts itself as a leader in brain-injury rehabilitation, and testimonials from satisfied family members are peppered with words like “gratitude” and “appreciation.”

According to Bloomberg News, the testimonials should also be peppered with words like “abused” and “neglected.”

Bloomberg reports that complaints from current and former patients and their families, coupled with over 2,000 pages of medical and court records, autopsies, police reports, and state investigations reveal an “untold history of violence and death” at the secluded 152-bed Wauchula facility.

Patients’ families and state agencies have alleged abuse or neglect in five deaths at the facility since 1998. Some 447 allegations of neglect or abuse at FINR have landed at the doorstep of Florida’s Department of Children and Families (DCF) since 2005. Of those allegations, DCF investigators claim to have “verified” 36 of them.

Ex-residents allege that they were frequently “taken down” or knocked to the floor and beaten. The takedowns were euphemistically described by the facility as BARR, which stands for Brief Assisted Required Relaxation.

According to Bloomberg, one such BARR resulted in the death of a brain-injured ex-Marine, who was pinned face down by four FINR employees until he couldn’t breathe. The family filed a negligence lawsuit and subsequently won a $5 million jury verdict.

Three former employees of FINR are currently facing criminal abuse charges.

FINR claims it has “zero tolerance” for resident abuse.

There is never an excuse for patient abuse and neglect — especially when in comes to the care of vulnerable brain-injured patients. If you believe a family member has suffered abuse and neglect at a care facility, the Hardee County personal injury lawyers at Farah & Farah will work ceaselessly to hold those responsible accountable for their actions. Stop the abuse and neglect now. Call us at (800) 533-3555.