Florida Institute for Neurologic Rehabilitation withdraws legal challenge

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A Hardee County rehabilitation facility that was ordered last month to discharge 50 residents has withdrawn an administrative challenge against the state show.

Administrative Law Judge Suzanne Van Wyk on Wednesday formally closed the case, which was filed by the Florida Institute for Neurologic Rehabilitation. Inspectors from the Department of Health, the Department of Children and Families and the Agency for Health Care Administration went to the facility in August amid questions about the quality of care provided to residents, who have head injuries. The state followed up by directing the institute to discharge 50 residents. The institute filed a case in the Division of Administrative Hearings, seeking to invalidate a rule that state officials used in ordering the discharges. In a document filed Tuesday, the institute did not give reasons for withdrawing the case. Earlier, however, the institute had sought a continuance in a hearing scheduled to start Thursday, saying that an expedited schedule had made it impossible to “adequately prepare.”

FINR says that it is continuing to pursue an administrative rule challenge against the state, and expects to re-file the challenge within two to three weeks.  The expedited schedule simply did not leave enough time to properly prepare, and once the continuance was denied FINR moved to dismiss the case in order to give both sides an adequate amount of time to prepare and review discovery, depose individuals and ready witnesses.  FINR still firmly believes that this administrative rule is without merit and contradicts Florida statute.

Material from the News Service of Florida was used in this post.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.