In St. Petersburg, Florida, dozens of cockroaches have been caught on camera creeping on the wall in a patient’s room at a local assisted living facility, and it’s not the first time this particular facility has had problems with infestations.
“They’re crawling up the wall, crawling up on me,” said Geri Cataraso, as she narrates video she shot inside a patient’s room at Bristol Court Assisted Living Facility in St. Petersburg.
“We saw them all the time. There’s just holes in the wall, where the roaches go through.”
She was visiting a friend of hers that stays there, a man by the name of John Maddox, a Navy veteran who had been referred there by the VA after he had suffered from a stroke.
“Look at the cockroach walking on the wall right behind where he’s sleeping,” she said in one video clip. “25 years in the military, this is where you put him in?”
She also claims that Maddox had lost thirty pounds in a ninety days.
The administrator didn’t want to do an on camera interview, but has said that the ALF serves a unique population, including homeless people, hwo somtimes bring in pests like bedbugs and cockroaches in on their shoes or in their clothes.
“That doesn’t occur in an hour,” said attorney Jim Wilkes who reviewed the video.
He has sued hundreds of ALFs, including Bristol Court.
“If it’s allowed to happen over and over again, the law says it’s abuse. If it goes on for weeks and months, it’s abuse,” said Wilkes.
Bristol Court claims that an exterminator treats the home every month, but records show that this hasn’t always been the case.
In 2015, the ALF was fined for failing to professionally treat a “known infestation of bedbugs” which sent residents to the hospital. That same year, an employee shaved seven residents’ heads, including four women without proper consent, during a lice outbreak.
“If the person is being treated that way at home, protective services would come out, take them away and arrest the family,” said Wilkes.