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Florida Supreme Court Ruling: Stand Your Ground not Automatic in Civil Suits

September 29th, 2017 by Jake Stofan
A Florida Supreme Court ruling has opened the door for civil suits against people immune from criminal prosecution based on Stand Your Ground.
The NRA says it opens the doors for criminals to take legal action against victims.
A Tampa bar fight in 2008 between two men ended with one of them suffering permanent eye damage.
The second claimed and was grated protection under stand your ground
The injured man filed a civil suit. An appeals court threw it out, but the Supreme Court, in its ruling, said civil suits can go forward, even if immunity was granted in criminal cases.
“What the courts did was kind of clarify that and say that the immunity doesn’t automatically carry over into civil court, that’s a separate issue that civil courts are going to have to deal with,” said Legal Analyst Felix Vega III.
The NRA says the Supreme Court Ruling puts people’s right to defend themselves at risk.
“It takes us back to the days when families of a deceased criminal sue the victim because she shot the criminal who was trying to rape her,” said Marion Hammer, President of the Unified Sportsmen of Florida.
Legal Experts acknowledge there are instances where a civil case could be beneficial.
“This would allow them to go into civil court and possibly pursue it a second time as a civil remedy much like they did in the OJ Simpson case,” said Vega.
The ruling all but guarantees the Legislature will have to take another look at the Stand Your Ground law when it meets in January.
“The legislature needs to fix it and tell the Florida Supreme Court that the Legislature makes the laws, the Supreme Court enforces them,” said Hammer.
If a civil case is brought against a person who claimed Stand Your Ground, and they are found immune in civil court, the person filing the suit could be responsible for any defense costs.
The Stand Your Ground Law was enacted in 2005.
It became controversial when it was used as the defense in the death of Trayvon Martin.

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FBI Corruption Probe Expected to Produce Indictments Soon

September 29th, 2017 by Mike Vasilinda

A massive investigation into city government contracting in the state Capitol has been underway for since 2015, and as Mike Vasilinda tells us, those close to the investigation say the first indictments could come as early as November.

Two subpoenas seeking development records were delivered to City Hall in June. A third subpoena, naming Commissioner Scott Maddox, dropped in early September.

Days later a picture of Maddox, a developer, and undercover FBI agents in Las Vegas surfaced. Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who is running for Governor, was also photographed with the agents on a boat in New York City.

Commissioner Gil Ziffer who has not been named in any documents, still calls the investigation ”distracting.”

“Clearly there is cloud over us and everybody is aware of it and you can’t help it. I mean, what can you do when somebody asks about it. But we still have a lot of things we need to deal with. we need to deal with the high crime issue” say Ziffer.

”Oh my god, it’s real money” said one commissioner as Political activist Erwin Jackson showed up at a city commission meeting this week.  He was wearing a tee shirt with the letters FBI and he passed out stacks of hundred dollar bills.

“That’s the first time I’ve ever seen Scott Maddox throw a thousand dollar bribe on the floor” said at the meeting. On Friday, he defended the action.

“Some People have to see things. And we’re talking about corruption, and what do you mean by corruption? I put on a visual display about what corruption” Jackson told us.

The city has already turned over ninety thousand documents, and more are on the way.

The story gets more interesting. Former Tallahassee FBI agent Josh Doyle, during an job interview with the Florida Bar, laid out the details of an eeriely similar extensive investigation.

“Which we had an investigative team of about 25 people” Doyle told the Bar interviewers in April.

A Federal grand jury meets November 3rd.

Tallahassee City Commissioner Scott Maddox is the past chairman of the Florida League of Cities. He ran statewide for Attorney General and Agriculture Commissioner. He also made a brief run for Governor.

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Farm Share and Florida Law Enforcement Teaming Up to Feed the Hungry and Reduce Crime

September 28th, 2017 by Jake Stofan
A pilot program hopes to connect Florida’s law enforcement and disadvantaged communities.
Preliminary results show it’s making an impact on crime.
14,000 pounds of food is up for grabs in this pilot program. 
The fresh fruits and vegetables are being handed out by law enforcement to those in the community who need it most. 
“I have a big family and yes, feeding them is hard,” said one attendee, Lindsay Foraker.
“People like myself who are retired and are on a fixed income, [it’s] very, very difficult,” said Sheryl Walker who also attended.
It’s not just about the food, Officials say it’s about making a connection between law enforcement and the public in areas where those relationships aren’t always the best.
Famed Civil Rights Lawyer Benjamin Crump says its a step in the right direction.
“People can hopefully see that we’re all in this boat together,” said Crump.
The partnership between Farm Share and law enforcement was tested in Liberty City and Jacksonville.
It’s now being tried in the State Capitol, where the crime rate is higher than anywhere else in the state.
Studies conducted by the Attorney General’s Office show a direct link between hunger and crime rates. 
“They don’t have to worry about where their next meal is coming from. I mean it’s an innovative way to fight crime,” said Crump.
More than 400 people received food at the food drive. 
The Sheriff’s Office says it means 400 people less likely to commit crime and more likely to report crime when it occurs.
“We can help them and the community can help us do our job and that’s the best way that we can do it,” said Leon County Sheriff’s Deputy Dean Crump.
Farm Share says the success of the events in Liberty City and Jacksonville means more partnerships around the state are on the way.
To find out when the Farm Share’s Big Red truck is making a stop in your area go to the organization’s website at, Farmshare.org.

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Nursing Home Generator Rule Challenged

September 28th, 2017 by Mike Vasilinda

A group representing more than one hundred nursing homes in the state has filed a challenge to an emergency order to install generators before November 15th. And as Mike Vasilinda tells us, the homes say they want to comply, but the timeline set by the state is impossible to meet.

Rick Scott issued the emergency order on Sept 16th, three days after patients started dying from heat and other causes at a Hollywood Hills nursing home.

”We need to have generators on site.” Justin Senior, the head of the agency charged with enforcing the order, briefed nursing homes at a Summit last week.

“If folks have the ability to keep their residents comfortable for 96 hours post storm, that alleviates a lot of the concerns around a power outage for the first few days” Senior told us after he addressed the 300 operators in the room.

The 17 page petition filed by LeadingAge, which represents a hundred homes, seeks an administrative hearing. They want to delay the enforcement of the order.

In a statement, CEO Stephen Bahmer says “This is not a lack of willingness to carry out the Governor’s directive.”It is a timing and logistical issue.”

The petition is blunt, calling the timeline “Impossible”.

Generator experts at lat week’s summit said the same. Mike Acree is with RingPower.

“It’s usually a year to a year and a half process” Acree told us.

Existing state law does provide for a waiver to the rule.

Seeking  a waiver is the course the homes represented by The Florida Health Care Association have chosen to pursue according to Kristen Knapp.

We asked “Nursing homes show good faith, and go to the state and say it can’t be done in your time line?”

“Exactly” said Knapp. “We’re still waiting for that clarification from AHCA, but essentially showing how they put the plans into motion.”

Homes who fail to comply with the deadline could be fined up to a thousand dollars a day or, in extreme cases, lose their license to operate and care for patients.

This afternoon, Governor Rick Scotts Deputy Communications Director said in a statement: “The Governor’s rule is solely focused on saving lives. This association should focus solely on keeping seniors safe and not on lawsuits.”

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Price Gouging Still a Problem following Irma

September 28th, 2017 by Mike Vasilinda

Since Irma began threatening the state on September 6th, more than 13 thousand price gouging complaints over have been lodged with the Attorney General’s Office, but as Mike Vasilinda tells us, repeated requests for information about those complaints has been hard to come by.

As Irma approached on September 6th, the Attorney General’s price gouging hot line got more than 15 hundred complaints.
“And they are continuously coming in” Bondi said from a podium.

Reporters were given free access to interview more than two dozen call takers, all of whom genuinely liked what they were doing. Jack Hagadorn is a veteran at the call center.

“Many callers complaining about water, gas” he told us.

As Irma passed, the number of complaints jumped to nine thousand on Sept 12th. Now, two weeks later,  more than 13 thousand complaints has been lodged, but what has happened to those complaints?

This gas station was accused of selling gas for a dollar thirty a gallon more than what was posed on the sign out front. He denies it and is yet to hear from the state.

Dixit Patel is the owner.

“No..I have whatever is on the price is on the pump, and we have all the bills and everything.”

Q:Have you heard from the Attorney General yet? Have they called you? Has a lawyer called you and said prove to us…?”

“No. No. No. And we don’t do price gouging” says Patel.

The same is true at this station. The complaint said water was 14.99 a case. Owner Amed Barar has yet to hear from the state.

Q:”Has anyone called you from the Attorney General’s Office?

“No sir”

Q:”No letters in the mail?”

“I haven’t received anything” says Bazar.

In a statement, the Attorney Generals office says “Our consumer protection investigators are looking into at least a dozen matters involving companies with multiple complaints that are expected to become formal investigations; and we anticipate even more…as our review of thousands of price gouging allegations continues.”

Price gouging can carry up to a thousand dollar a day fine.

Late this afternoon, the Attorney General told us it may not be necessary to contact those accused or price gouging because the evidence has been preserved. Pam Bondi also told us her office was overwhelmed, but said offenders would be punished in time, while adding she is still pursuing those who have come up with new scams after the storm passed.

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Deaf Inmate Denied Early Release

September 27th, 2017 by Mike Vasilinda

 

A deaf Florida inmate who has been in prison for 36 years for a murder he, and his lawyers say he didn’t commit lost his bid for early release today. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, a split decision will keep the murderer in prison, but not as long as the victims family would have liked.

Felix Garcia was 19 and deaf when he was charged with murdering a man in a Tampa Hotel. No sign language interpreter was provided at trial. Garcia got life, which back then meant 25 years before being parole eligible. Lawyer Reggie Garcia told the board considering parole, that Felix he had an iron clad alibi.

“A 19 year old man who was deaf, with a fourth grade reading equivalency, has served 36 years in prison for a murder he did not commit.” says Garcia

What doomed Felix was his brother Frank and prostitute sister Tina. Both said he was there..then later recanted their story that Felix was guilty.

A third man pictured her was Tina’s pimp, and likely the ring leader.

“good morning”

Three of the victims sisters made what has become a regular trip for them. Coming to the Capitol to make sure Felix Garcia stays in jail. Marie Tramotana Clark asked that the next hearing be delayed the entire seven years allowed by law.

“A first degree murderer and robber should never be out” the sister told Commissioners.

One commissioner said he had no question about guilt, but he wondered aloud what Felix has done to better himself.

Commissioners were split. One wanted five more years. Another wanted just three. They decided on three more years in prison. Garcia is still not guaranteed release at the next hearing.

The sisters would not share the photo of their brother they brought for the commission or talk with reporters afterward. Pat Bliss, the Paralegal who has worked pro bono for 22 years says Felix calls her mom.

“And God has given me Felix as my goal in life. To give this young man a chance” says Bliss.

The sisters did tell the commission they will keep coming back.

Felix Garcia was transferred last year to a prison in Virginia that specializes in helping special needs prisoners. It is the first time in 36 years that he has had a sign language interpreter to help him.

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Avoiding Post Hurricane Charity Scams

September 27th, 2017 by Jake Stofan

In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, Irma and Marie, Floridians are desperate to find ways to help the victims of the storms.

Gisela Rodriquez, a lawyer from Puerto Rico now living in Tallahassee is doing her part to help the victims of Hurricane Marie and is encouraging other to get involved, but State Officials want to make sure your generosity isn’t going to scammers.

Hurricane Maria followed Irma in pummeling Puerto Rico.

The island is in desperate need.

Tallahassee Attorney Gisela Rodriquez is originally from the U.S. territory.

Her family still lives there. She’s still unable to contact her parents.

 

“The sound of their voices is what gives me strength and power to just keep going and keep doing what I’m doing. So missing that medicine daily… it’s like you’re slowly dying,” said Rodriquez.

Gisela isn’t letting the agony bring her down.

After researching charities to find ways to help, Rodriguez found AirDrop, a group of volunteer pilots who fly donations she collects directly to Puerto Rico.

 

“Beyond thankful. I don’t think there’s a word… I don’t think there’s a word,” said Rodriquez.

Rodriquez did her homework to make sure the charity she picked is legitimate.

The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services says there are a number of online tools to help check a charity’s credibility.

 

“You can find out whether they’re registered, and how much of your money will actually go to the individuals they want to help versus administrative costs,” said Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Communications Director, Jennifer Meale.

The Florida Attorney General’s Office says there are also red flags that can give scammers away.

 

“Particularly in the wake of a disaster, a charity scam may pop up as a solicitation. Be weary of high pressure sales tactics or anyone who’s hesitant to provide you more information about their charity,” said the AG’s Communications Director, Whitney Ray.

Charities soliciting in Florida must register with state and file annual reports.

So far, the Attorney Generals Office says it hasn’t received any charity complaints since Maria hit. To report a charity or scammer, call 866-9NO-SCAM. To checkout the legitimacy of a charity, go to freshfromflorida.com.

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Faith Community Calling For Interest Rate Caps on Payday Loans

September 26th, 2017 by Jake Stofan

Church Leaders are announcing a proposed constitutional amendment to the states constitution to put camps on interest rates for pay day loans.

The proposed 30% cap was announced in the state Capitol with pastors and reverends from multiple denominations saying members of their churches have fallen into unescapable cycles of debt after taking payday loans.

Reverend Rachel Gunter Shapard of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Florida says the loans often come at a 300% interest rate and target the most financially vulnerable citizens.

 

“In 2015 alone these predatory practices cost families in our state more than 300 million dollars. This is immoral,” said Rev. Shapard.

As it stands now there is no cap on interest rates for payday loans.

The coalition of religious leaders noted no members of the Constitutional Revision Committee have endorsed the proposed change as of now.

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Sea Turtles Suffer Massive Nest Losses Up and Down Florida’s Coasts During Irma

September 26th, 2017 by Jake Stofan

2017 saw a record number of sea turtle’s lay their nests on Florida beaches.

So when Hurricane Irma hit Florida’s coast it didn’t only damage property, it also took its toll on the thousands of sea turtle nests buried beneath the sand.

Florida beaches are home to three different species of sea turtles.

The most vulnerable is the green sea turtle.

It nests later in the season than other species.

Irma’s storm surge prematurely uncovered hundreds of green sea turtle nests along Florida’s coasts.

 

“Both Florida’s East and West Coast are very important nesting areas for marine turtles and other wildlife,” said Manley Fuller, President of the Florida Wildlife Federation.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says sea turtles have adapted to cope with storms.

 

“Each female actually nests serval times during a nesting season because she going to maximize the probability that at least some of those nests will survive,” said Dr. Robbin Trindell, Biological Administrator at the FWC.

But their numbers do take a hit.

That’s why the FWC says it’s especially important for people to be extra mindful of our scaly neighbors now.

Many sea turtle nests are marked, but storm surges may have washed away postings.

Most important, if you happen upon a nesting turtle or hatchlings, leave them be.

 

“If there’s a little sea turtle crawling towards the water, let it go. It’s programed to do what it needs to do and get off shore,” said Dr. Trindell.

Even this late in the season, dimming lights is important.

Bright lights disorient sea turtle hatchlings, sending them inland instead of towards the water.

 

“Keep them long wave length and keep them shielded,” said Dr. Trindell.

If you live on the coast and need help purchasing dimmer lights for your home, you can receive assistance through the Restoring the Night Sky Grant.

You can contact the FWC to see if you qualify.

To inquire about the Restoring the Night Sky Grant, send an e-mail to seaturtlelighting@myfwc.com.

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First Amendment Advocates Say the State’s Response to Nursing Home Tragedy isn’t Transparent

September 25th, 2017 by Jake Stofan

A family member of one of the 11 residents who died in a nursing home in Hollywood Florida has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the facility.

Resident advocates and first amendment watchdogs say the state is dropping the ball when it comes to calls for transparency following the tragedy.

Records released by the Governor’s Office show more than 150 calls were made to Rick Scott’s personal cell phone while Irma approached on Saturday the 9th through Tuesday.

Included were four calls from Natasha Anderson, alerting the governor to the lack of power at the nursing home where eleven people eventually died.

All voicemails were deleted.

Information from the calls was forwarded to various state agencies, including the the Department of Health.

We asked Mike Millikan, the State Longterm Ombudsman if he had any concerns over the voicemails deletion.

 

“I assume that all public officials are responsive to their constituents,” said Millikan.

In a statement, the Governors Office said, “None of this changes the fact that this facility chose not to call 911 or evacuate their patients to the hospital across the street to save lives.”

Resident advocates say questions surrounding the voicemails is taking the spotlight away from a larger transparency issue, public access to nursing home health reports.

In the wake of the tragedy, the Agency for Health Care Administration stopped placing redacted nursing home inspection reports on the web following accusations the agency redacted public information from the reports.

Instead of reposting corrected versions of the reports there are links to versions of the report filed with the federal government.

 

“They are now giving consumers less of a history of what’s happening in nursing homes,” said Brian Lee with Families for Better Care.

But the state says what is currently online is adequate.

 

“They can always request the facility assessment report from the Ombudsman program,” said Millikan.

Health reports for nursing homes more than three years old are still available through public records requests.

The First Amendment Foundation says the way the call deletions and removal of the reports is legal, but the decisions call into question the judgement of the state following the tragedy.

The Foundation’s President says the state should be making every effort to make information more readily available not less.

 

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Nursing Home Operators Briefed on Generator Order

September 23rd, 2017 by Mike Vasilinda

300 nursing home operators meeting in the state Capitol today heard first hand what’s expected of them by the state when it comes to installing generators. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, what the operators also heard was that the deadline set by the Governor is likely unrealistic.

Governor Rick Scott issued the emergency order, requiring nursing homes to have a generator to power air conditioning a day after the first five deaths were reported in a south Florida home. Justin Senior runs the Agency for Health Care Administration. It will enforce the order.

“We need to have generators on site that can power some portion of the facility and keep the residents comfortable.”

Senior did leave some wiggle room…the generator does not have to cool the entire facility.

“you may have a situation where they can house the residents in a great room that is maintained at seventy-seven, seventy eight degrees the entire time.”

Cary Vinas is the CEO of Tampa’s Canterbury Tower.

“I think it’s unrealistic. 45 days for a plan, 60 days to have it in effect.” Vinas does say her home will eat the cost.

And what the operators heard from generator suppliers was good luck getting one within the time line framed by the Governor.

Mike Acree from Ring Power told the group generators are built to order.

“I mean, the lead times are 12 to fourteen weeks from the time you place an order” says Acree.

The nursing home association says it want to bring the facts to the Governor. J. Emmet Reed is the associations Executive Director.

“We believe the Governors heart is in the right place. Our profession does, so maybe we can talk with the Governor’s office and figures out a maybe more reasonable time line” says Reed.

And two lawmakers in attendance called the likelihood of the legislature making the generator requirement mandatory was 100%.

“There’s outrage” says State Representative Emily Slosberg.

Legislation that would have required generators at nursing homes was proposed after the 2005 storms, passed the House, but was never heard in the state Senate.

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Black Farmer Sues State Over Medical Marijuana Licensing Rule

September 22nd, 2017 by Jake Stofan

The Florida Department of Health was sued Friday over who gets the Black Farmers medical marijuana vendors license.

 

 

 

82-year-old Colombus Smith, a Black Farmer from Panama City filed the suit.

Smith says he is being excluded from obtaining a license to grow medical marijuana because he is not a member of  Black Farmers Association, which by law is entitled to a license.

Smith alleges he is being excluded from the organization to lessen competition.

“They’re not allowing them to join the association,” said Taylor Biehl with the Medical Marijuana Business Association.

The Medical Marijuana Business Association says it’s received similar complaints from other black farmers.

 

“In essence the association is discriminating against their own qualified candidates to clearly allow for less competition,” said Biehl.

The Black Farmers and Agriculturalists Association-Florida Chapter had no comment when asked about the lawsuit filed by Colombus Smith.

The suit was filed days after the Department of Health published a new application for marijuana licenses.

The Department is receiving flack from activists who say the DOH will miss it’s October 3rd deadline to approve five new vendors.

 

“We’re all bitting our nails here,” said Biehl.

The Legislature ordered more vendors to increase competition.

Medical marijuana isn’t covered by insurance, so patients have to pay out of pocket.

Any reduction in price makes a direct impact on the wallets of the more than 36,000 patients who have qualified for treatment.

“The more businesses that are out there competing with one another, the better it will be for the patient because that’s how Capitalism is supposed to work. More competition should drive down prices and improve quality,” said Medical Marijuana Lobbyist, Ron Watson.

If the DOH fails to meet the deadline, additional lawsuits from patients and potential vendors could be on the horizon.

 

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Illicit Sex Claims Cloud Pending Execution

September 22nd, 2017 by Mike Vasilinda

Michael Lambrix is scheduled to die at Florida State Prison on October 5th for a pair of 1983 murders, and as Mike Vasilinda tells us, the case is filled with changing testimony, questions over the only witness having sex with the state’s investigator and a claim of self defense.

It took two trials to convict Michael Lambrix of killing two people he just met in 1983. Lambrix turned down a plea deal at the time.

“I was supposed to be intimidated by the threat of a death penalty, so I was going to plea out to second degree and I would have gotten a sentence of 17 to 22 years, and I would have been out many years ago…but I wasn’t going to plea to something I didn’t do.”

We spent an hour talking with Lambrix at Florida State Prison in May 2016 after the Supreme Court stayed his execution.

Michael Lambrix has been on death row since a jury voted 10-2  and 8 to 4 for death. His case was final long before a 2002 US Supreme Court case called Ring. It requires unanimous juries. Now, Every non unanimous death sentence in Florida since Ring will get a new sentencing hearing. But everyone sentenced before Ring is out of luck. Ingrid Delgado of The Florida Catholic Conference calls it arbitrary.

“Is that fair?”

“Well, this partial retroactivity is really uncommon. New laws are typically held retroactive for all, or retroactive for none” says Delgado.

There are other issues. No physical evidence linked Lambrix to the crime.The key Witness against him  had sex with the chief investigator.

The question of sex came up at here at the Supreme Court in 2009. So did Lambrix’s claim of innocence. Carol Ditmar argued the state’s case on November 4, 2009.

“The Medical Examiner, the male victim he says was consistent with self defense. He was hit one the head with a  tire iron, but its also consistent with I’m going to kill you until you are dead” Ditmar told Justices.

This is Lambrix’s third death warrant. It will likely be his last.

Florida executed nearly 40 inmates between Ring in 2002 and 2016 when the US Supreme Court said juries must be unanimous. It did not hear the appeal of a Jacksonville killer executed last month who was sentenced by a non unanimous jury.

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Dodging Post-Hurricane Scammers

September 21st, 2017 by Jake Stofan

So far nearly $2.7 billion worth of insurance claims have already been filed in Florida. As Jake Stofan tells us there are things you can do to avoid getting ripped off.

It’s been less than two weeks since Hurricane Irma ripped up the Florida peninsula.

Damage estimates make it the fourth most costly hurricane in history.

Since Irma hit more than 452,000 insurance claims have been filed in the state totaling just over $2.7 billion, but pre-landfall estimates predicted the number could rise to $100 billion, more than four times the cost of Hurricane Andrew.

 

“The claim numbers are going to be higher. The dollar values of the buildings are going to be larger, but Florida’s insurance market can handle this,” said Policy Holder Attorney, Nicole Vinson.

To make sure Floridian’s are getting the most out of their policies the Florida Department of Financial Services is traveling around the state, setting up events to help those affected by the storm file claims.

 

“To go out there and help the outreach of connecting people together and filing the claims process to get them back to some normalcy,” said Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis.

Events have already been held in St. Augustine, Jacksonville, Naples, and Lehigh Acres.

The Chief Financial Officers Office says another event to be held in the Keys is currently in the works.

The CFO’s Office has also put out a number of tips to aid residents through the process.

 

“There’s also attorneys who only assist policy holders with these claims and they’re going to answer your questions on a pro-bono basis at this point in time,” said Vinson.

It’s also imperative to contact your insurance company before signing any contracts with repair companies to ensure you don’t sign away your rights and benefits to your policy.

 

“We’re encouraging folks to be very very careful when following a storm if someone comes up and is offering you repair services, read what your signing. You know we’re telling folks to be very careful of signing their rights away,” said Michael Peltier with Citizens Insurance.

To date the average value of claims files is roughly $6,000.

 

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Did Senator Use Political Clout to Get Power before Nursing Homes?

September 21st, 2017 by Mike Vasilinda

 

A ninth patient at a Hollywood nursing home has died following a power outage caused by Hurricane Irma. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, a war of words between administrators and the Governor continued today.

Six days ago, the Agency for Health Care Administration filed paperwork to deny new admissions where nine people have now died. The nursing home is shooting back, filing a 46 page request for an injunction.

It asserts “The Broward mayor, Barbara Sharif, asked executives from the power company (FPL) to consider all the nursing homes and senior communities in the “critical” category, but was told there were too many to do so”.

The denial came as Rise news reported that Miami State Senator Daphne Campbell bragged on You tube about calling an FPL lobbyist.

“As soon as text him an address, you got the lights.” Campbell said in the video, also calling the lobbyists “phenomenal”!

Despite text messages Campbell shared with the news outlet, as well as the video, the Senator has said her phone was taken.

Ben Wilcox of Integrity Florida says the claims raise questions.

“I think on the face of it, it’s pretty disgusting.”

Q:”FPL say it maybe didn’t happen?”

“Well, if it did happen , I think its an inappropriate use of political influence in a time when there is emergency conditions and people are suffering” says Wilcox.

“The Governor’s office is also pushing back, It’s release a timeline of every contact with the nursing home. It also lists emails that were sent trying to get the home’s power back on.


The Governor is also pushing back with a time line and 159 pages of back up documents showing every call made to the states emergency hot line, and follow up emails requesting power be restored to the nursing home.

In a Statement, the Governor says “This healthcare facility failed to do their basic duty to protect life”.

The documents point to a nasty and lengthy legal fight that is just beginning.

FPL did not return a call or email when asked for a comment. On Friday, The state’s nursing homes will meet in the state Capitol to discuss an emergency order issued by the Governor requiring generators at every home.

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