Florida nursing home workers surrender to face charges in post-hurricane deaths

 Florida nursing home workers surrender to face charges in post-hurricane deaths

By Zachary Fagenson

MIAMI (Reuters) - Four Miami-area nursing home workers were arrested on Monday to face criminal charges in the deaths of a dozen nursing home patients exposed to sweltering heat during a post-hurricane power outage two years ago, defence attorneys said.

Three employees of the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills - administrator Jorge Carballo, the charge nurse who was on duty, Sergo Collin, and nurse Althia Meggie - turned themselves in at the Broward County Jail in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, at about noon, lawyers said.

A fourth defendant, also a nurse, was taken into custody by police in Miami, according to the lawyers, David Frankel and Lawrence Hashish.

Carballo and Collin were each being booked on 12 counts of manslaughter, Frankel told Reuters. Meggie, who was a contract nurse at the facility, was being booked on two counts of aggravated manslaughter and two counts of tampering with evidence, according to documents seen by Reuters.

It was not immediately clear what charges the fourth defendant faced.

Arrest warrants for all four defendants were issued over the weekend in the case, which the Broward County coroner has ruled a homicide, lawyers said.

The 12 victims in the case, ranging in age from 57 to 99, were found to have died from heat-related causes after being left with little or no air-conditioning in the nursing home for days after Irma knocked out electricity to the facility in September 2017.

Hollywood police declined to release details of the case, but said Chief Chris O'Brien and other law enforcement officials would announce the charges on Tuesday at 10 a.m. EDT (1400 GMT).

(Reporting by Zachary Fagenson in Miami; Additional reporting and writing by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Editing by Dan Grebler and Matthew Lewis)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date: Aug 27, 2019 03:14:20 IST