Florida brain-injury facility accused of abusing patients

A Florida brain-injury facility came under fire in the past few weeks after Allstate Corporation, an insurance company, sued it for fraud. Allstate claims that the facility is warehousing brain-injury patients, pretending to provide fake vocational services, and abusing its patients. The neglect and abuse charges are the result of an in-depth investigation by Allstate.

According to the allegations, the facility uses an aggressive marketing campaign to lure patients from states with favorable coverage requirements to its operations in Florida.

Once the patients arrived, the facility allegedly failed to provide any of the promised rehabilitative services. Instead, patients found themselves washing facility employees’ cars and pulling weeds as “vocational” training.

More disturbingly, facility staff allegedly physically abused patients. Camera footage shows a two-hour beating that apparently took place in September 2011. The facility has faced five lawsuits since 1998, each claiming that abuse or neglect killed a patient.

The abuse was not limited to physical acts. The allegations also claim that staff intimidated patients with violent threats and kept them confined in their bedrooms for long periods of time.

Source: Bloomberg, “Allstate Suit Says Brain-Injured Washed Cars as Therapy,” David Armstrong, Aug. 28, 2012