Florida regulators are demanding that a brain-injury treatment center with patients from across the U.S. prove that it’s financially viable, as the facility seeks bankruptcy protection.
The Chapter 11 filing by the Florida Institute for Neurologic Rehabilitation Inc. followed Bloomberg News stories about the alleged abuse and neglect of patients by their caregivers at the 200-bed residential facility southeast of Tampa. It’s one of the largest in the country treating people with long-term disabilities brought on by brain trauma.
The filing came hours after Regions Bank sued the institute, known as FINR, in U.S. District Court in Tampa, claiming it’s in default on $31 million in real-estate loans. The lawsuit by the Birmingham, Alabama-based unit of Regions Financial Corp. (RF) says FINR stopped paying on the debt in August.
FINR’s owner, Joseph Brennick, said in a statement yesterday that he was “confident” the facility could properly care for the people living there while it undertakes a financial restructuring. Media coverage led to “a significant decline in revenue making FINR unable to meet is financial obligations,”Brennick said in the statement.
Negotiations with Regions Bank are “ongoing and we are making strides to resolve this successfully as we look for a long-term solution,” he said.
After the bank sent FINR a default letter in September, Brennick withdrew at least $466,000 from center coffers, the suit alleges. In addition, FINR has failed to give the government the payroll taxes withheld from employees’ wages and hasn’t paid real estate taxes and routine operating expenses, Regions Bank says in the suit.
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Brain Injury Center Seeks Bankruptcy as Bank Sees Default