Hollywood nursing home bills resident who died during Hurricane Irma

HOLLYWOOD, FLA. (WSVN) - The nursing home where 14 people died after Hurricane Irma caused a power outage reportedly charged the account of one of the deceased residents.

The Sun-Sentinel reports the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills charged the account of 99-year-old Albertina Vega, who died in the aftermath of the storm.

Vega’s family told the newspaper they were shocked to see the bank withdrawal and overdraft fee on her account, after the facility charged $958. A relative spotted the charge when she went to close Vega’s account.

“How are they going to charge a dead person?” Carmen Fernandez told the Sun-Sentinel. “How is she going to pay that? I was enraged. They let her die and then they bill her. This was someone who was like a mother to me.”

Vega was one of the 14 residents who died when the building’s central air conditioning stopped working. She lived on the second floor of the nursing home, which did not have air conditioning for three days, the paper reports.

Fernandez said she filed a complaint with the bank manager about the charge and overdraft fee. A spokesperson for the nursing home said the billing was due to an automated system, and says the family has been refunded.

“Unfortunately, in this family’s case, this was an automatic deduction,” Alia Faraj-Johnson told the Sun-Sentinel. “Due to circumstances beyond the facility’s control and their lack of access to what they need – the computers in the system – the withdrawal automatically occurred.”

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