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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

After horrific abuse documented at Hardee Co brain injury facility, consumer group demands investigation



Walter Dartland,executive director of the Consumer Federation of the Southeast, is calling on  state and federal authorities to immediately send aprotective services team to Florida Institute for Neurologic Rehabilitation (FINR) in Hardee County after Bloomberg News detailed a dangerous a pattern ofabuse and neglect of residents there. He wants a a state or multi-state and/or federal forensic audit of the facility to investigate its possible misuse of any federal and state taxdollars, and urges insurance investigators to thoroughly examine possible fraudulent activity that would “milk or bilk” patients’ premiums. 

"One of the nation’s most trustworthy media organizations has documented what it asserts is a horrific, outrageous and heartbreaking series of heinous acts at a facility thatis supposed to be providing care to some of the country's most vulnerable patients,"said Dartland. "The desperate cries for help from behind FINR's closeddoors are an urgent alarm that should resonate at the highest levels of federaland state government and law enforcement. Families rightfully are deeply concerned and deserve to know their loved ones are in a safe and secure environment."

Bloomberg found alleged abuse and neglect including instances where patients have died, or have reportedly swallowed fishhooks and batteries to escape the institution as well as testimonials from former patients including videotaped evidence of apparent beatings by caretakers.

As part of aneffort to increase public awareness of the story, Dartland invited concerned individualsto get involved in the effort by joining the Protect People with Brain InjuriesFacebook group set up on the site at:  

[Last modified: Saturday, July 28, 2012 4:09pm]


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