JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - As of Thursday, no one has taken responsibility for circumstances that led to eight Hollywood nursing home patients death.
The elderly patients were found in sweltering conditions in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. Investigators say one of the eight died Tuesday without any staff member calling 911. The patient's body was instead turned over directly to a funeral home. Meanwhile, the nursing home has defended its staff and blamed Irma for knocking out a transformer that powered the air conditioning system. Florida Power and Light says it provided power to at least part of the system. USA Today reported the state found 11 health deficiencies during it's annual inspection earlier in 2017, and 17 in 2016.
First Coast News contacted over a dozen nursing home facilities in Jacksonville and all reported having working utilities. Only a handful said their backup generator was required at some point during the storm.
"We were very blessed," said John Barber, CEO of Taylor Residences. "It could have been a lot worse."
Taylor has a capacity of 700 residents in multiple buildings over more than 20 acres.
Barber said it's possible the Hollywood facility did not know the storm would hit before it was too late.
"You've got to be prepared for everything, if you do get water you have to pump it out," said Barber. "We had to make plans well in advance, you don't know where you are going to evacuate to because first [Irma] was coming up the east coast, then the west coast."
The Florida Agency for Healthcare Administration requires nursing home facilities have an emergency power supply in case of emergencies. In addition, the facility must have on hand at least 72-hours worth of food and water for patients and provisions for a 24-hour continuous basis staff.