Broward County

Four nursing home employees formally charged in deaths of patients after Hurricane Irma

Four healthcare workers who police say “didn’t do enough” to care for patients after Hurricane Irma caused a Hollywood nursing home to lose power leading to the deaths of 12 people were formally charged Monday in connection with nine of the deaths, the Broward State Attorney’s Office announced.

The four former employees of the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills who were charged were: Jorge Carballo, the facility’s administrator; Sergo Colin, a night shift nursing supervisor; Althia Meggie, a registered nurse; and Tamika Miller, a licensed practical nurse.

Carballo and Colin were charged with nine counts of aggravated manslaughter of an elderly person or disabled adult. Meggie was charged with two counts of aggravated manslaughter of an elderly person or disabled adult and two counts of tampering with or fabricating evidence in connection with medical records. Miller was charged with six counts of aggravated manslaughter of an elderly person or disabled adult and two counts of tampering with or fabricating evidence in connection with medical records.

All four were arrested in August and released on bond.

When Irma moved through South Florida on Sept. 10, 2017, the now closed center — which then cared for 150 patients — lost power, as did many homes and businesses in the area. The center never evacuated patients, and three days later patients began to die. In all, Hollywood police attributed 12 deaths of patients ranging from 57 to 99 to the stifling heat.

Prosecutors said Monday they found only sufficient evidence to charge the workers with nine of the 12 deaths.

“... The evidence was insufficient to prove criminal charges beyond a reasonable doubt in the deaths of three other nursing home residents,” the Broward State Attorney’s Office said.

If convicted, the healthcare workers could face up to 30 years in state prison for the aggravated manslaughter charges.

Their next court date has not yet been scheduled.

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Carli Teproff grew up in Northeast Miami-Dade and graduated from Florida International University in 2003. She became a full-time reporter for the Miami Herald in 2005 and now covers breaking news.
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