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Negligence In Florida Drug Rehab Facilities


Drug rehab services and centers have become a cottage industry in southern Florida, with more and more people taking advantage of Florida’s weather while trying to conquer addiction. However, for a variety of reasons, it is difficult to regulate these facilities, and because of this, negligence and corruption have become very common. For every responsible facility that upholds its duty to care for its residents, there is one that overcharges and mistreats its patients. If you or a loved one are a patient in a drug rehab facility, it is crucial to be able to spot negligence in the staff and the facility.

A Certain Standard Of Care Must Be Present

Recovering from addiction is very often a herculean task, particularly with certain drugs in particular. Because of the difficult nature of this process, people there for inpatient treatment require near-constant supervision and support. While there is no statutorily defined ‘standard of care’ for such facilities, staff at inpatient drug rehab centers do have a duty to provide the appropriate level of support to their patients – the people who have come to the facility to reasonably rely on that support.

A 2018 case in Tampa Bay highlights the standard of care expected – and what happens when it is flouted. A man from Illinois flew to Florida, intent on finding a rehab center after a breakdown. He arrived at Tampa’s airport in a psychotic state, but instead of taking him to a hospital, the cab driver took the man to River Oaks, a rehab facility in Riverview. No one was present who was qualified to do an intake exam – and the man was in too much distress to remain on the premises, later being struck by a car and killed. His widow filed a lawsuit against River Oaks, alleging gross negligence.

After Injury Or Death

In general, if a staffer’s actions (or the actions of the rehab facility in general) cause harm to a patient, the patient (or their family) have the right to seek money damages for the harm the patient has suffered. If the facility’s actions lead to the patient’s passing, the family may file suit for wrongful death. While a rehab facility will not be liable for every death that may occur on their premises, it will be liable if the person’s passing happened as a direct result of the facility’s actions (or lack thereof). For example, if someone meets with an accident on the premises, the facility may not be held liable if the accident was not foreseeable; if someone is hit by a car after they run away following a psychotic break, the facility will likely be found to have been negligent.

In very rare situations, a rehab facility may be found guilty of gross negligence. In Florida, gross negligence is conduct so “reckless or wanting in care” that it showed a “complete disregard” for human life, safety, or rights of other people. The conduct cannot merely be shocking; it must be reckless. For example, if a person overdoses and dies after taking drugs, and it is discovered that a staffer willingly provided those drugs, that person – or the facility – would very likely be on the proverbial hook for gross negligence.

Contact A Tampa Drug Rehab Negligence Attorney

A patient addicted to drugs needs help, understanding, and support; unfortunately, in some Florida rehab facilities, all they may find is neglect. If you or a loved one have had this kind of experience in a Florida drug rehabilitation center, you have the right to seek compensation. The Tampa substance abuse treatment center negligence attorneys from the Rinaldo Law Group can offer dedicated and compassionate representation at what can be a frightening time for you and your family. Call our offices today for a free consultation.



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