Florida Injury Blog

Manslaughter Charges Dropped in 2017 Nursing Home Fatalities

The Perazzo Law Firm 

Director of Nursing Acquitted of Manslaughter

The former administrator of a nursing home where 12 elderly residents died following Hurricane Irma in 2017, has been acquitted of aggravated manslaughter charges. Jorge Carballo, who was on trial for the deaths that occurred after the building lost power during the hurricane, was granted acquittal on Friday afternoon.

In a related development, prosecutors dropped manslaughter charges against three nurses, Althia Meggie, Sergo Colin, and Tamika Miller, who were present when the 12 nursing home patients suffered fatal overheating. The incident took place five years ago when the hurricane knocked out power to the facility’s air conditioning. The nurses will testify against Carballo, who is still scheduled to go on trial next month.

The victims, whose ages ranged from 57 to 99, reportedly had body temperatures of up to 108 degrees. Paramedics had criticized the staff for not transferring the patients to a nearby hospital with air conditioning. Despite this, Carballo’s acquittal has brought closure to a tragic incident that resulted in multiple deaths at the nursing home.

What Happened?

In 2017, the Rehabilitation Center of Hollywood Hills experienced a tragedy when 12 elderly residents lost their lives due to overheating. The incident occurred three days after Hurricane Irma knocked out the transformer powering the cooling system at the facility. Although the facility never lost power, the lack of air conditioning caused the temperatures inside the building to soar.

Before the storm hit, the facility’s administrator, Jorge Carballo, and his staff made appropriate preparations, including purchasing extra food and water and ensuring a seven-day supply of fuel for the generator. They also participated in statewide conference calls with regulators, including one where then-Gov. Rick Scott advised nursing homes to contact him for assistance.

However, when the air conditioner was knocked out, Carballo and his facility manager contacted Florida Power & Light for help. When this proved unsuccessful, they attempted to contact Scott’s cellphone, as well as county and city officials. Unfortunately, no assistance arrived.

Staff members tried to keep the patients cool using portable air conditioners, but they were not installed correctly. The units on the first floor were vented into the ceiling, causing heat to displace into the second floor, where 11 of the 12 victims lived.

In the days following the hurricane, paramedics made several visits to the facility. However, the staff’s response was inadequate, and patients continued to suffer from overheating. In one case, a paramedic asked about the high temperatures and was told that the air conditioner was being repaired. However, the patient’s temperature was later measured at 106 degrees, and he died five days later.

Despite Carballo’s claim that the temperature inside the facility was safe when he left at 11 p.m., the report found this statement “not credible.” Paramedics later discovered patients in cardiac arrest with temperatures as high as 107 degrees. One patient was already dead, and the paramedics noted rigor mortis, suggesting that he had been dead for hours. The staff’s contention that they had monitored the patients closely was not supported by the video footage, which showed no one visiting the deceased patient for seven hours.

Ultimately, the fire department ordered the facility to be evacuated, and homicide detectives arrived at the scene. Florida Power & Light arrived to fix the air conditioning around the same time. This tragedy underscores the importance of ensuring that nursing homes have appropriate measures in place to care for their residents during natural disasters.

Our thoughts and best wishes go out to the family of the deceased victim following the tragic accident that occurred at the nursing home in Hollywood, Florida.

The Perazzo Law Firm is dedicated to serving individuals and families who have suffered injury due to the negligence of others. With a deep understanding of the emotional toll accidents can take, our firm is committed to helping those in need.

Our news blog is designed to keep you informed on the latest personal injury cases and legal developments. We aim to raise awareness of the injury and loss of life that occurs in our community by sharing information from publicly available sources. However, please note that the information shared in our blog has not been independently verified, and the photos depicted are not necessarily representative of the actual event. If you notice any inaccuracies, please bring them to our attention for correction.

Recommended Posts

Products Liability

Products Liability and Accident Claims

Miami Law Firm Advocating for Product Liability Victims in Florida Manufacturers, distributors, and retailers have a legal obligation to ensure the safety of the products they sell. These products span a wide range, from cars to bicycle tires, over-the-counter beauty creams to prescribed medications, and baby toys to car seats. When Miami consumers suffer personal […]

The Perazzo Law Firm 
Car Accident Motorcycle Scooter

Car Accidents Involving Mopeds and Scooters – News and Safety Tips

Car Crashes into Moped A moped crash leads to a moped rider being transported by helicopter to the hospital following an accident with a vehicle in Margate. Margate Fire Rescue promptly reacted to the situation, responding to a collision between a 25-year-old female moped rider and a car. The incident happened in the vicinity of […]

The Perazzo Law Firm 
Car Accident


MIAMI PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER SHARES THE IMPORTANCE OF A DASHCAM “After an accident, your dash cam footage can be worth a million dollars,” Jonathan Perazzo of the Perazzo Law Firm in Miami-Dade. Driver fault following a traffic accident that results in personal injuries may sometimes be difficult to prove without eye-witness testimony or nearby camera […]

The Perazzo Law Firm 
%d bloggers like this: