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Nursing Home Says It Contacted Scott 'Multiple Times' Before Patients Died

September 15, 2017 - 6:45pm

The Hollywood nursing home where eight people died after Hurricane Irma says it tried to call Gov. Rick Scott’s office three times before the first death at the facility, the latest in finger-pointing at the governor and the state’s largest electricity provider, Florida Power & Light.

The first call for help from the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills came around 3 a.m. Wednesday morning, with staffers claiming one elderly patient had gone into cardiac arrest after the nursing home had been left without power for several days. 

A second call came an hour later -- but by the third call for help, the facility raised eyebrows that the situation may become deadlier and deadlier as temperatures increased and the nursing home was left without adequate air conditioning.

A total of eight people died at the elderly home, prompting questions as to who was responsible for the deaths and how, exactly, the tragedy occurred.

Now CBS Miami is reporting the Hollywood nursing home says its officials tried to reach the governor’s office several times via a special phone number Scott gave out to healthcare executives should they encounter any problems recovering from the storm.

Nursing home officials said they told Scott they needed “immediate assistance,” but did not hear back from the governor.

The governor’s office denies being contacted by the nursing home, saying “at no time” did the facility report conditions had become dangerous. 

“Every call made to the Governor from facility management was referred to the Agency for Health Care Administration and the Florida Department of Health and quickly returned,” said Scott’s communications director John Tupps.

The Florida Department of Health also rejected responsibility for the incident.

“Let’s be clear -- this facility is located across the street from one of Florida’s largest hospitals, which never lost power and had fully operating facilities,” the department said. “It is 100 percent the responsibility of health care professionals to preserve life by acting in the best interest of the health and well-being of their patients.”

Police launched a full investigation into the incident, with initial findings discovering the nursing home was without sufficient air conditioning and was using portable A/C units to keep the facility cool.

On Wednesday, facility administrator Jorge Caballo said the home had contacted officials and local power company Florida Power & Light, informing them of the situation. 

Caballo did not mention contacting the governor’s office at the time. 

“We took part in emergency management preparedness calls with local and state emergency officials, other nursing homes and health regulators,” he said in a statement on Wednesday. “While our Center did not lose power during the storm, it did lose one transformer that powers the air conditioning unit. The Center immediately contacted Florida Power & Light and continued to follow up with them for status updates on when repairs would be made. Outreach was also made to local emergency officials and first responders.”

Earlier this week, the governor said health officials had been in contact with the facility and advised staffers to contact 911 if they believed the health and safety of patients was at risk. 

Family members of one of the patients have filed an emergency lawsuit over the incident to seek the "preservation and production of vital records, documents and surveillance" from the Hollywood nursing home.

Democratic gubernatorial nominees Gwen Graham and Andrew Gillum both called for an investigation into the possible phone calls Friday evening.

Graham said the responsibility to respond to any and all problems laid solely with Scott.

"It is 100 percent the governor's responsibility to do everything in his power protect every Floridian,” she said.

Gillum said he found the incident disturbing and also called for a second look into the deaths. 

"Today's reports that the Governor and his Office gave out a special priority phone line - then failed to act when they received distress calls - are highly alarming,” Gillum said. “The investigators must have full access to all public records and transcripts of communications, meetings, and conference calls between the Governor, his Office, and healthcare facilities in preparing for Hurricane Irma.”


This is a developing story. Check back for updates.



Reach reporter Allison Nielsen by email at or follow her on Twitter: @AllisonNielsen



although a bulk of responsibility would rest on the nursing homeand is or should be undisputed, why would Scott personally delete the phone calls for help? when were they deleted? what was exactly said? what emergency management organizations were called?

I'm sure you'll find many dropped balls in all of this once the dust settles, especially Duke Energy. However, the nursing home cannot abdicate its responsibility being right across the street from the hospital. However, the phone call issue should still be investigated to the fullest...

Gov. Scott did a wonderful job alerting people to the dangers this storm posed... does he need to personally hold everyone's hand and lead them to safety? Where does the responsibility lie when you are an institution that cares for vulnerable people.... It lies with YOU! SHAME on those passing their guilt on to everyone else!


Generac is a standby power company that sells stand by power at every Home Depot in Florida. If these low life Clintonistas were not so greedy they would have had the devices installed pre-Hurricane. But when the GOP tried to pass a bill mandating the alt power the Nursing Homes screamed bloody murder and killed the bill in the senate...Shame on the Senators and shame on the 2 lieing dimwits lifetime politicians lie like they breath constantly BTW Generac has a financing dept for even the cheapest nursing home administrator....

I agree with all of the above comments...the nursing home is at fault logically because a large, fully-functioning hospital is next door...go there...duh, that doesn't take a lot of intelligence to do that...this facility is liable for the lack of preparation for the hurricane; they didn't evacuate; they didn't go to the hospital with their patients; now they try to blame the Governor?...shame on Gwen and Andrew for making this political!

I don't know about all of you but I would have been standing out in the street so I could flag down a cop car/fire truck/emt, or would have gone across the street to the hospital and beg for help, etc. Obviously, phone calls weren't working.

Why did they not evacuate long before the first patient crisis? Gov Scott was all over telling people to evacuate and not to wait until the storm arrived, which seems to be exactly what they did. On this coast we had hospitals evacuate and they didn't wait until people started dying to do so... If that's the best they can do it's not nearly good enough! Especially the finger-pointing and not taking responsibility for the decision to not evacuate all patients who's need for electrical equipment was essential.

This is obviously a CYA move on the Rehab Center and coming from a Democrat Party stronghold like Broward County makes it even more suspicious. Gov Scott did a Herculean job during the storm. This was a colossal failure on the part of the Management of the local Nursing Home.

Graham and Gillum should be ashamed of themselfs for useing a tragedy to benifet them politically. I will be voteing anyone but them now

I 'commented' in a former article "that this tragedy would NEVER have occurred in "the old days" when senior citizens from "the greatest generation" were revered" and imminent emergency provisions would have been at "the top of the list". THIS IS EXACTLY what you get, and will continue to get, from the narcissistic "political" likes of Gwen Graham and Andrew Gillum. We've ALREADY EXPERIENCED the inexperienced & 'entitled' (think: "Hillary"), "Nepotistic Gwen" up in Congressional District 2,...and we CERTAINLY don't want her "leapfrogging" into the Governor's office ! (These "political snake-oil salespeople" will play "bait & switch" with your family's very existence as long as it suits their personal needs and ambitions). BE VERY CAREFUL VOTERS ! ! !

Exactly! Under those two Democrat stooges' logic, Scott is liable for the looting in South Florida too. And for the 20 premature babies born during the hurricane. And the overcooked eggs at Waffle House in Miami. Idiot Democrats saying anything to strategize for 2018, trying to make a Republican look bad. Now that's how desperate the Dems have gotten. PEOPLE OF FLORIDA: DO NOT ELECT EITHER OF THOSE TWO FOOLS FOR ANYTHING. Not even dog catcher.

Where were the relatives of these elderly patients? Children? Grandchildren? Did they visit their relatives? Did they ever check up on the facility?

I, like you have said that. Now they are heartbroken and want compensated. Greedy, low life air breathers. I would be so ashamed that I wouldn't open my mouth.

give me a break....What the H Governor Scott going to do....Ha...typical Nurse Home B.S...way Any Common Sense Idiot knows ..that power out & A/C not working in Florida your Home or business going to HEAT UP Quickly with temps outside 90 deg....AND elderly no matter what Health they in HEAT is a Killer...THESE PEOPLE are SUPPOSE BE NURSES & TRAINED CARE WORKERS....LAWs need to BE Changed to MORE QUALIFICATIONS on these NURSE HOME SLATTER HOUSES...& STEP UP INSPECTIONS ..YOU CANT tell me those So Called Care workers couldn't FEEL IT was getting HOT in there.....LOCK THEM ALL UP...& SHUT THEM DOWN...these places are NOT in it FOR HELPING YOUR LOVE ONES...THEY IN IT FOR MONEY...INS.MONEY...ABUSE OF MEDICARE & OTHER COLLECTING on Patients in there Facilities....THEY JUST THREW GRANNY OFF THE CLIFF & Getting PAID for it.......ALSO ..these Facilities Got a 24hr.DOCTOR.on CaLL ...Where was He or She....and CHARGE that person ALSO.....there be a whistleblower of facility come out ..just wait in see ..this WAS JUST PLAIN MURDER...

I don't believe it. Why not call 911 or call the fully functional hospital across the street.

Graham and Gillum are lying for votes. Of course the Hollywood Center never contacted Governor Scott. Imprison these politician and take away Hollywood Health license to operate and start laws suites for lying. Kick these politician Democrats out of the race. WE do not want their guidance nor ideas in this great state.

I don't believe they called Scott. Hospital across the street and they call Scott?

But of course the "rules for radicals" types can't let a good crisis go to waste, so facts be damned, they jump on Scott to try to score some political points in their runs for governor. Disgusting lowlife politicians.

Graham & Gillum are very desperate. They know soon-to-be Governor Putnam has it all wrapped up. Hahaha!!! Sad for those who passed away. Their families will be heavily compensated for the egregious neglect reference the facilities duty of care. Pay up insurance!!

Absolutely agree. This Fox Entertainment style of fake news is unacceptable. are a joke..Hollwood, an Democrat Town Hillary Voter....FAKE NEWS is Liberal Town Make up...Fox Entertainment has NOTHING to do with That Nursing Home ABUSE..Typical REACTION of Hillary VOTER ...BLAME someone ELSE but Person on the job in care of Elder Person..and getting RICH from it.....

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