As medical care becomes more adept at saving people after car crashes and shootings, the nation’s population of the brain-damaged is growing. And it’s not easy to find rehab and care for all of them. And not all the facilities are up to snuff.
That leads to the case of the Florida Institute for Neurologic Rehabilitation (FINR), which is the subject of a big story in Business Week. The facility, located south of Tampa, allegedly allowed the abuse and beating of patients.
The article says that “sources and over 2,000 pages of court and medical records, police reports, state investigations and autopsies contain an untold story of violence and death at the secluded institution.”
Patients and authorities have alleged abuse or “care lapses” in at least five resident deaths, according to Business Week. And three former employees of the facility have criminal charges pending against them.
The gist is that FINR is reaping a nice profit by taking patients who have “generous” workman’s comp benefits.
There are a number of anecdotes about residents allegedly being abused. One man attempted suicide after being repeatedly punched in the stomach and groin, according to Business Week. A video shows a 21-year-old autistic resident being slapped and beaten.
In another instance, the family of a brain-damaged, ex-Marine from Louisiana won a $5 million jury verdict against the Florida facility in 2005. The resident died of suffocation after being pinned down by four FINR residents, Business Week reported.
Last December a resident died when he was given solid food at the facility’s cafeteria. The man, who suffered brain damage in a car crash, was supposed to be fed only by a tube “because he couldn’t swallow,” according to Business Week.
The tales of FINR’s alleged abuses are many, and they are described in detail in the story. I suggest anyone with a loved one with brain injury read it. And I suggest you keep your loved ones out of FINR.