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Case of wrongfully charged Filipino nurses may head to U.S. Supreme Court

The Supreme Court
Evan Vucci

The Supreme Court could hear the case of 10 Filipino nurses and their lawyer later this month who were arrested after they all quit their jobs at a Long Island care home on the same day in 2006, Newsday reported.

The nurses quit their jobs at Avalon Gardens Rehabilitation and Health Center in Smithtown over working conditions and hours.

Then-Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota charged them with conspiracy, child endangerment and endangering the welfare of a physically disabled person. The criminal case ended when an appellate court ruled the charges violated the nurses’ rights against “involuntary servitude.”

The nurses then sued Spota and Assistant District Attorney Leonard Lato, but federal doctrine gives prosecutors absolute immunity from being sued.

Spota is currently serving a prison sentence for corruption in a separate federal case.

Terry Sheridan is an award-winning audio journalist. As part of his duties as Senior Director of News and Education, he developed a unique and award-winning internship program with the Stony Brook University School of Communications and Journalism, where he is also a lecturer and adjunct professor. He also mentors graduate fellows from the Sacred Heart University Graduate School of Communication, Media, and the Arts.