Couple Charged with Heat-Related Death at Arizona Nursing Home

Aug 16, 2019

A married couple who operate a Chandler home-based assisted living facility are charged with vulnerable adult abuse in the death of a 69-year-old man who spent two days without air conditioning last summer.

Defendant Joseph Somera.
Credit Arizona Attorney General's Office

The Arizona Attorney General's Office says 56-year-olds Joseph Somera and Lolita Somera were indicted Monday in the resident's death. They manage and operate Happy Homes Assisted Living Facility.

The office says the air conditioning failed Aug. 16, 2018 and that Lolita Somera called 911 two days later to report that the man was non-responsive.

Defendant Lolita Somera.
Credit Arizona Attorney General's Office

According to the office, the temperature in the man's room was 100 degrees.

Medical examiners determined that environmental heat exposure contributed to the man's death from end-stage renal disease complicated by acute pneumonia.