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Florida Brain Injury Center Declares Bankruptcy

A Florida brain injury treatment facility has declared bankruptcy in the wake of allegations of patient neglect and abuse by its employees.

The Florida Institute for Neurologic Rehabilitation, Inc. (FINR) recently filed for Chapter 11 protection in federal bankruptcy court in Tampa, along with three affiliated companies. According to court filings, they estimate their liabilities to be between $3 million and $30 million and the number of their creditors to be between 103 and 346. They also estimate their assets to be less than $150,000.

The filing occurred on the same day that Regions Financial Corp. sued FINR, alleging that FINR had defaulted on $31 million in real estate mortgages. Regions Bank claimed in its suit that FINR’s patients’ welfare is in jeopardy due to financial and management problems at the facility in Wauchula, southeast of Tampa.

In August, state authorities ordered FINR to relocate about 50 residents to other facilities. That directive, which the company has been fighting, followed a Bloomberg News story detailing a history of allegations of abuse at the center. According to reports by Florida investigators, FINR staff beat patients and cajoled them into fighting each other.

The creditors listed in FINR’s court filings include attorneys, insurers, medical suppliers, utilities, Hardee County, and a public relations company.

Regions Bank requested in its lawsuit that a court-appointed receiver direct operations at the facility until the collateral on its loans is foreclosed on or sold. It alleges that FINR has not made any payments on its loans since August, has not given payroll tax withholdings to the federal government, and is behind on property taxes and operating expenses. Regions also alleges that after they sent the facility a letter of default in September, Joseph Brennick, owner of FINR, withdrew nearly half a million dollars from the company’s accounts.

Brennick released a statement saying he was “confident” the company could properly care for its resident patients while restructuring financially. He added that media coverage led to “a significant decline in revenue making FINR unable to meet is financial obligations.”

The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration has requested detailed financial disclosures from FINR and told the company it must demonstrate that its assets and revenues are sufficient to maintain operations for two years and prove its ability to rectify its financial situation.

A spokesperson for the agency declined to comment to Bloomberg News on the consequences if FINR were not able to prove financial solvency.

Shiobhan Olivero is the Owner and President of Olivero Law If you need a Brandon bankruptcy lawyer, Tampa bankruptcy lawyer, or Tampa bankruptcy attorney, call 813.654.5777 or visit Brandonlawoffice.com.

Posted on Tuesday, April 9th, 2013 at 11:33 pm under Bankruptcy.
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