Fam­ily files law­suit af­ter nurs­ing home death

South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Sunday) - - Obituaries - By Lois K. Solomon [email protected]­tinel.com

Eve­lyn Born­stein, 96, appeared to be in good spir­its be­fore Hur­ri­cane Irma struck last year. But four days later, she was dead, and her son says her West Palm Beach nurs­ing home, which lacked a gen­er­a­tor to air­con­di­tion the fa­cil­ity prop­erly in a power out­age, is to blame.

The son, Howard Born­stein, filed a law­suit in Palm Beach County Cir­cuit Court on Fri­day against the home, Darcy Hall of Life Care. While Eve­lyn Born­stein’s room lacked air con­di­tion­ing, tem­per­a­tures out­side hov­ered above 90 de­grees, and Born­stein’s tem­per­a­ture be­fore her death hit

103.7, the law­suit said. Darcy Hall, and most of the state of Florida, lost power af­ter Hur­ri­cane Irma, which struck on Sept.

10, 2017. Ninety per­cent of Florida Power & Light’s cus­tomers were with­out elec­tric­ity.

The storm re­vealed how sev­eral Florida nurs­ing homes lacked back-up sys­tems to keep res­i­dents cool in dire emer­gen­cies. In the most dra­matic case, the out­ages are be­lieved to have con­trib­uted to the deaths of 12 se­nior cit­i­zens at the Hol­ly­wood Hills Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion Cen­ter in Broward County.

The death of Born­stein is the first pub­li­cized case of a Palm Beach County se­nior who may have died at a nurs­ing home from the postIrma heat.

Born­stein had frac­tured her left fe­mur on July 8, 2017. She also had uri­nary tract in­fec­tions and de­men­tia, ac­cord­ing to her son. Af­ter stay­ing in the hos­pi­tal four days for the frac­ture, she re­turned to Darcy Hall, where she had lived for three and a half years, and was get­ting extra care from the nurs­ing home staff as well as hos­pice staff who checked in on her pe­ri­od­i­cally.

De­spite her frail con­di­tion, her son, who lives five min­utes from Darcy Hall, said she was mak­ing jokes about the im­pend­ing hur­ri­cane when he vis­ited her on Sept. 8. He said the staff as­sured him they were ready for Irma, and he felt con­fi­dent his mother was sta­ble: A hos­pice nurse re­ported on Sept. 7 that Born­stein showed no signs of dis­tress, said her son’s at­tor­ney, Scott Fis­cher.

Howard Born­stein, 60, said he wishes the nurs­ing home had con­tacted him to tell him of his mother’s im­pend­ing death.

“If they would have called, they would have done right,” he said.

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