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Paramedic Haunted by Rehabilitation Center Deaths. Many More Testimonies To Come

Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills
Charles Trainor Jr.
Miami Herald
Fourteen deaths at the center occured after Hurricane Irma, and of those, 12 have been ruled homicides by police.

A pathologist with the Broward County Medical Examiner's Office testified for five hours. He saw the bodies and relived the autopsy reports in front of the courtroom. 

paramedic testified that he is haunted by the deaths. 

The Fire Rescue lieutenant said she believed the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills staff were "panicked" and "overwhelmed."

Firefighters, a top nurse and a medical director all took the stand for a week of testimony before Administrative Law Judge Mary Li Creasy about whether the state can revoke the license of a nursing home where a dozen people died following Hurricane Irma last year.

Florida’s Agency for Healthcare Administration is suing the rehab center to try and take away its license after 12 residents died in sweltering conditions.

The dozen deaths have been ruled homicides, but no one has been charged. A criminal investigation is ongoing.

The Hollywood Hills facility lost air conditioning shortly after Irma made landfall on Sept. 10 2017. That week eight residents in the rehabilitation center died from heat-related causes after temperatures in the nursing home soared. 

There were originally 14 deaths after the storm, but only 12 have been ruled as homicides by local police following the autopsy results from the Broward County Medical Examiner’s office. 

The youngest victim was 57 years old. The oldest was 99. 

Read more: Hollywood Nursing Home Where Eight Died Wasn’t On Priority List For Power Restoration 

Since Monday, Jan. 29, there have been multiple hearings in the ongoing case against the rehab center. More than 66 people are still set to appear in court as witnesses for the rehab center. 

The next hearing is scheduled for March 1, 2018 in Fort Lauderdale. 

To keep up with the court case, visit the Department of Administrative Hearings website here.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Caitie Muñoz, formerly Switalski, produces WLRN's midday public affairs program, Sundial weekdays at 1 and 8 p.m. Prior to transitioning to production, Caitie covered news and stories concerning quality of life in Broward County and its municipalities for WLRN News for four years.