Fire in a nursing home obviously can be a disaster because of the immobility of many of the residents. It would be a guaranteed disaster if the nursing home falsified fire drill reports and appointed an untrained maintenance man to oversee fire safety training at the facility, leaving employees unable to handle the crisis. That is what is alleged to have happened in Nashville.
Two families who lost loved ones in a Nashville nursing home fire can pursue punitive damage claims against the company that owned the facility for its alleged disregard of fire safety training and failures of the facility’s employees on the night on the fire, a judge ruled today.
The ruling allows the plaintiffs to pursue their allegations that National Healthcare Corp. falsified fire drill reports and appointed an untrained maintenance man to oversee fire safety training at the facility, leaving employees unable to handle the crisis.
After yesterday’s ruling, the plaintiffs said their primarily aim is to make sure all of the information about the fire is known publicly so a similar disaster can be prevented by the government agencies that regulate nursing homes.
“It’s very important that all of this information gets out to the public so whatever needs to happen can happen to prevent this from ever happening again,” said Amy Cato of Nashville, who was raised by Webb, her aunt, after her mother passed away. “There was a tremendous amount of emotional distress in watching what my aunt went through everyday for five months, and I don’t want anyone else to go through that.”
Those of us who have loved ones in nursing homes and assisted living facilities in Florida should inquiry about fire safety and the training of personnel. And, it may not be a bad idea to witness a fire drill.