What Rights Do I Have Against A Negligent Sober Home?
Addiction is a seemingly never-ending problem in the United States, but Florida has a particularly painful history with drugs. After cartel wars and so-called “pill mills,” Florida law is strict when it comes to drug offenses, and often makes little or no provision for people who are genuinely addicted to drugs and cannot get clean without help. Sober homes aim to fill a niche in addiction treatment, but too often, tragedy can strike if the management is negligent. If you have lost a loved one due to that negligence, or you believe that you have been mistreated by a sober home, the question of whether you are able to recover is somewhat unsettled.
Unclear Legal Status
The majority of sober homes are private enterprises run by individuals, and may even be in private homes. Rent of sorts is charged to each occupant, which is most often paid out of pocket (in rare cases, drug rehab stays are covered by insurance, but it is the exception, rather than the rule). However, homes are not well regulated, and in the past, Florida grand juries have found absolutely endemic fraud and unethical behavior.
The legal status of sober homes is still somewhat unsettled in Florida, though changes in the law since 2017, after the grand jury investigations, have solidified things to a degree. Sober homes are not required to be certified with the state, but their telemarketing personnel are required to register. Incentives for sober homes to certify do exist, however, as failure to do so means that no patients can be referred to them from any kind of licensed facility. That said, if a home refuses to certify voluntarily, there is very little that can be done to regulate it.
Because sober homes are dealing with drug and alcohol addicts that are often at their most vulnerable, it is sadly too easy for unscrupulous managers to act negligently. Some of the most common ways that management can be negligent is in failing to exercise proper care toward the residents, allowing residents to attack other residents, and perpetrating or allowing fraud, theft, or violent acts like sexual assault. Any of these events can place the home on the proverbial hook, because the home has contracted to exercise a certain degree of care toward its residents.
If you have lost a loved one, or you have experienced mistreatment that you believe could have been avoided with better care, you can try to seek redress from the home’s owners and operators. In order to recover, you must show that the owner or operator failed to exercise reasonable care – that they breached their duty to act in a certain way toward the plaintiff – and that their failure was the direct cause of your injuries (or your loved one’s).
Contact A Tampa Sober Home Negligence Attorney
People go to sober homes to have a quiet, low-key place to focus on addiction recovery. However, too many of them are run by unscrupulous people, or by those who have no business looking after people in vulnerable positions. If you have suffered harm as a result of another person’s negligence, the Tampa substance abuse treatment center attorneys from the Rinaldo Law Group can offer compassionate and dedicated representation to you at what can be a difficult time. Call our offices today for a free consultation.