When the air conditioning in a Hollywood nursing home went out during Hurricane Irma in 2017, it got so hot inside that 12 residents died in the days and weeks that followed. For years, prosecutors have been pursuing a case against the nursing home administrator and three nurses.
The charges against those nurses were dropped, Thursday.
According to prosecutors, their cases against Sergo Collin, Althea Meggie, and Tamila Miller is now closed.
After three years of pursuing manslaughter, the state has dropped its charges.
“Well I believe they kept pushing for it because it was politically motivated,” said Lawrence Hamish, an attorney. “They invested a lot of time and money into the case.”
In 2017, after Hurricane Irma swept through, the three were nurses at the Rehabilitation Center of Hollywood Hills.
After the storm knocked out the nursing home’s AC, a paramedic was called to rescue the elderly inside and described the conditions as “Ungodly Hot.”
One resident’s temperature was recorded at 107 degrees.
Investigators originally argued the nurses should have evacuated the sweltering residents sooner, but their attorneys argue a different point.
“Their body temperature does not correlate with the temperature in the room,” Hamish said. “All of us, if we had the flu, can have a temperature of 107 degrees. They had their own medical conditions.”
The state is still pursuing manslaughter charges against Jorge Carballo who was the facility’s administrator.
Prosecutors would not answer any questions, but Carballo’s legal team had a lot to say.
“Why are they still going after Mr. Carballo? Because they don’t know what they’re doing,” said James Cobb, an attorney.
“It is nothing less than a political decision intended to try and save face with the public,” said David Frankel, an attorney.
Carballo’s attorneys said they are confident they will eventually prevail. The defense team said their client did not have the authority to order an evacuation.
“It was not called for by the medical doctors, by the fire department, by the professionals who were in the building at the time!” said “Not one person stepped up and said we have to get out of here.”
The trial for Carballo has been set for Nov. 7.