Filipino care managers in Arizona charged over elderly man’s death
CHANDLER, Arizona – The Arizona Attorney General’s Office on Thursday indicted the Filipino husband-and-wife managers of an assisted living facility in this city after the death last year of a 69-year-old resident who spent two days inside the home-based facility without air conditioning.
Joseph Somera, 56, and Lolita Somera, 56, manage and operate Happy Homes Assisted Living Facility, at 2120 West Shannon Street in northwest Chandler, according to a report by AZ Central.
Joseph and Lolita Somera. AZ AG’s OFFICE
According to the Attorney General Office’s press release, the air conditioning at the facility failed on Aug. 16, 2018, affecting five residents.
Two days later, on Aug. 18, 2018, Lolita Somera called 911 to report that the man was non-responsive. Responding Chandler police officers found that the temperature inside the home was 94 degrees, while the temperature in the man’s room was 100 degrees. The air conditioning had been out of commission for 48 hours.
The man, who had lived at the facility since May 2018, was pronounced dead. Joseph and Lolita Somera were charged with recklessly endangering the man’s health under their care — one count of vulnerable adult abuse, a class three felony.
The Maricopa Medical Examiner’s Office determined the cause of death was end-stage renal disease complicated by acute pneumonia. The contributory cause of death was environmental heat exposure, the statement said.