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Darren Rainey family seeks skin sample in gruesome prison shower death #family #attorney #miami

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Photograph of the shower room in the TCU west wing 13, Dade Correctional Institution, which became Darren Rainey’s death chamber. From the Darren Rainey in-custody death investigative report released Friday, March 17, 2017, by the state attorney’s office. Courtesy of Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office

Photograph of the shower room in the TCU west wing 13, Dade Correctional Institution, which became Darren Rainey’s death chamber. From the Darren Rainey in-custody death investigative report released Friday, March 17, 2017, by the state attorney’s office. Courtesy of Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office

Darren Rainey family fights for skin sample in gruesome prison shower death

By Julie K. Brown

July 02, 2017 4:01 PM

A piece of evidence the size of a postage stamp is the focus of an upcoming court hearing in a federal civil rights lawsuit brought by the family of Darren Rainey, an inmate who died after he was locked by guards in a hot shower at Dade Correctional Institution.

Miami-Dade County officials have not complied with a subpoena requiring them to send a skin tissue specimen, gathered during Rainey’s autopsy, to an expert hired by Rainey’s family, court records show. County attorneys, citing a provision of the Florida Administrative Code, say that any inspection of tissue samples has to be done in the medical examiner’s office, where the examination would be supervised.

The expert hired by the family, Dr. Werner Spitz, is a nationally renowned forensic pathologist based in Michigan. Rainey family attorneys filed a subpoena in federal court on May 23 demanding that the county medical examiner produce certain specimens, or “re-cuts,” of tissue samples that at are embedded in paraffin in a glass slide to preserve them. The subpoena requests that the medical examiner send the re-cuts to Spitz in Michigan.

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A video from inside Dade Correctional Institution, which was released by the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office on March 17, 2017, shows the moment prison guards respond to a medical emergency regarding inmate Darren Rainey.

Miami-Dade State Attorney Office

It is a common practice by forensic pathologists to request re-cuts of various autopsy slides in civil and criminal cases in order to verify the cause and manner of death, according to Spitz.

Miami-Dade’s medical examiner, Dr. Emma Lew, ruled Rainey’s death an accident. caused by a combination of factors, including his mental illness — he was severely schizophrenic — heart disease and “confinement to a shower.’’ Lew said there was no evidence that the shower was too hot, and that his skin — despite massive peeling — showed no sign of thermal injuries or burns.

Miami-Dade Medical Examiner Dr. Emma Lew.

MARSHA HALPER MIAMI HERALD STAFF

Her findings have been questioned by multiple forensic pathologists, including Spitz, who has written what is widely considered the “bible of forensic pathology’’and has practiced for more than 60 years.

Spitz said can’t ever recall having to go to court to ask a judge to enforce a subpoena for a re-cut of a slide in a closed criminal case. Rainey’s case was closed in March, when Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernández Rundle wrote a memo concluding that there was insufficient evidence to prove that corrections officers turned the water up to scalding temperatures.

Dr. Werner Spitz

The shower was rigged so that the controls were in an adjacent mop closet accessible only to guards. Multiple inmates said that it had been used by officers in the prison’s mental health ward to punish unruly prisoners by exposing them to unbearably hot water and steam. Rainey was locked in the shower for more than 90 minutes, records show.

Spitz has worked on some of the most high-profile cases in U.S. history, including the deaths of President John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr. Nicole Brown Simpson and JonBenet Ramsey.

“What we are all trying to get to is the truth,’’ Spitz said. “Why can’t this be done like gentlemen and ladies? This is not necessary to go to court. This is something that’s done all the time.’’

The county also declined to permit an independent review of the slides by Dr. John Marraccini, the former medical examiner in Palm Beach, who offered to do it at no charge as a public service, given the questions that have been raised about Lew’s findings.

Dr. John Marraccini

Marraccini remains puzzled by the roadblocks placed by the county. He said he has been routinely mailed “re-cuts’’ from the Miami-Dade medical examiner’s office — and has never been forced to review them in their office.

“I get re-cuts mailed to me from Miami-Dade all the time and I’ve never had to come look at them under their supervision,’’ he said.

In their court motion, Rainey’s attorneys attached a copy of a letter from Darren J. Caprara, director of operations for the medical examiner, citing a provision of the Florida Administrative Code that he said prevented the office from sending out re-cuts. The provision, F.A.C. 11G-2.004, says “an independent examination and analysis of physical evidence and embedded tissue is permitted only under the supervision and control of the Medical Examiner.’’

Unlike statutes, which are passed by the Legislature, provisions of the administrative code are adopted by regulatory agencies.

Another expert, Dr. Michael Baden, has disputed Lew’s findings after reviewing the autopsy file and photographs, which show large swaths of Rainey’s skin peeling off his body, revealing areas that paramedics said appeared to be second- and third-degree burns.

Baden, who was on New York State’s prison medical review board for 40 years, said skin slippage such as that indicated in the photos is “hot water trauma” caused only by prolonged exposure to elevated water temperature.

Lew has said the damage involved post-mortem decomposition in a moist environment, and is not an indication that the shower water was inordinately hot.

“I have not heard of a medical examiner office ever refusing to send microscopic slide re-cuts to to the next of kin’s pathologist, especially after the criminal investigation was closed,’’ Baden said.

The motion on the slides is scheduled to be heard in federal court on July 7.

In the motion, Rainey’s attorney, Milton Grimes, contends that the re-cuts are part of routine discovery in any case — and that they are “easily divisible” and “will not affect the preservation or quality of the remaining tissue.’’

He also asserts that the rule cited by the county is not applicable because the case is being heard in federal court.

As part of a public records request, the Herald received more than 100 emails from the medical examiner’s office pertaining to the Rainey case. According to the emails, re-cuts of slides were provided to the FBI, which has expressed interest in the case.

The emails also revealed that the lead prosecutor in the case, Kathleen Hoague, didn’t know until a few months ago that a slide of Rainey’s skin tissue was even collected by the medical examiner. The state attorney’s office began investigating the case in 2014 — two years after Rainey’s death — when the Miami Herald began requesting public records.

Marraccini said that the slides are a critical part of any autopsy because they will show conditions that are not visible to the naked eye. He said the skin sample taken by Lew would be kept indefinitely and re-cuts do not affect the integrity of the original sample. Theoretically, hundreds of re-cuts can be taken from a single slide, he said.

“The real risk for the medical examiner of doing a re-cut is that you may discover something new that you didn’t see from the initial sample,’’ Marraccini said.

In the case of burns, a medical examiner would look for a cellular reaction that may or may not be present in the hours after a victim’s death.

“If you don’t see a reaction and you hang your hat on that and say it’s fresh and the result of post-mortem injuries — and then you take a re-cut and you see a reaction to the injury, then you have a problem. It shows that the injury is not post-mortem,’’ Marraccini said

“In our business, a medical examiner has to be flexible enough to change the cause and manner of death based on the information that becomes available,’’ he added. “In this case, there is no point of keeping specimens if they find excuses not to allow them to be analyzed.’’

The medical examiner’s office did not respond to a request for comment. The Herald also reached out to Miami-Dade’s mayor, Carlos A. Giménez, who oversees the medical examiner, but he was not available.





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    A skilled nursing facility is a healthcare delivery system that is designed to provide for the daily needs of elderly or disabled residents. When this system works, it can create a greater quality of life for elderly individuals and their loved ones. However, when the system fails, it can cause a tremendous amount of unnecessary pain and suffering, and sometimes even premature death for the elderly or disabled resident, as well as the premature loss of companionship for their family. If you or your loved one has been the victim of nursing home negligence in Miami, you can trust our experienced team of attorneys to effectively investigate and pursue your claim. Call us at (305)440-0447.

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    Need a Miami Personal Injury Attorney? Are you in need of an advocate who will fight for your rights? Our Miami Injury Attorney Referral service is committed to assisting those who are injured when they are on a quest for compensation. Our office works tirelessly in order to protect the rights of individuals who have been hurt by negligent acts or by acts of omissions on the part of others. This is our mission as well as our privilege.

    We do know that just getting monetary compensation for injuries is not the only thing that will repair the harm that has been caused. We make sure our Miami personal injury lawyers are passionate, assertive and committed to advocating each of our clients. With us, the attorney-client relationship is the most important thing. We strive to make sure clients get the best, most personalized service.

    When accidents or injuries happen, they can seriously disrupt daily life. Our Miami personal injury firm will work with insurance carriers so that client’s can have the help of a professional at their side. No victim should have to endure this process alone.

    We promise that we will assert ourselves to protect and defend clients. We will do everything we can to achieve compensation for your injuries. We have the knowledge, support, and resources available to keep your interests at the forefront at all times both in and out of a courtroom.

    The Best Miami Car Accident Attorneys

    Once you visit our Miami office, you will be met with honesty, guidance and all the feedback you need to proceed in your case. We are the top car accident lawyers in all of Miami because we make ourselves accessible to you. Ask us any questions you have, and we will be there to answer them. In addition, your first consultation with us is free.

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    Four Point Insurance Inspections by Kross Inspectors #four #point, #wind #mitigation, #home #inspection, #real

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    Four Point Insurance Inspections

    Update from Citizens Insurance Effective 9/1/2012:

    As the leader of the Home Inspection Industry in Florida, Kross Inspectors has performed thousands of Four Point Inspections which have been accepted by Citizens Insurance and many other Insurance companies when underwriting older homes. In this article, we will briefly review the requirements issued by Citizens Insurance for ALL new policy issues effective 9/1/2012 (these requirements will go into effect for renewing policies on 10/1/2012):

    • A Four Point Insurance Inspection MUST be submitted with all applications for homes more than 30 years old (Previously this requirement was for homes more than 50 years old.)
    • Updated Plumbing Rules; properties with the following conditions ARE NOT eligible for coverage with Citizens Insurance: Signs of active leaks or unrepaired water damage, plumbing systems not in good working order, and the presence of polybutylene plumbing.
    • Updated Electrical Rules: Requirements for remediation of aluminum branch circuit wiring have been added. Electrical service of less than 100 amps are NOT eligible for coverage (exceptions may be made for mobile homes under certain circumstances and additional review by an electrician).

    HISTORY OF THE FOUR POINT INSURANCE INSPECTION:

    The Four Point Insurance Inspection was created after Hurricane Andrew struck Florida in 1992. It is performed on behalf of the insurance companies and, typically, as a requirement for the insurer offering insurance to the new homeowner. After recent year’s barrage of hurricanes in Florida, the Four Point Insurance Inspection has taken on added importance. As insurance companies are beginning to see the benefit of the inspection, the program is spreading to other areas of the country. The benefit to the insurance company is, obviously, reduced loss risk on homeowners insurance policies. This is an area of business that has, for many years, been a money loser for insurance companies.

    In 2002, the Florida Legislature passed a law that combined the Florida Residential Property and Casualty Joint Underwriting Association (FRPCJUA) and the Florida Windstorm Underwriting Association (FWUA). This resulted in the creation of Citizens Property Insurance Corporation (Citizens), which more efficiently and effectively provides insurance to, and serves the needs of, homeowners in high risk areas and others who cannot find coverage in the open, private insurance market. It is funded by premiums paid by the insured and from other insurance companies paying into the program to reduce their overall losses.

    The Four Point Insurance Inspection consists of a visual survey of the following four primary components:


    1. Roof
    2. Electrical
    3. HVAC System
    4. Plumbing

    The insurance companies are expecting the condition of the components listed above to be working as intended within the manufacturer’s specifications. The criteria used to judge the components include:


    • Current operating conditions
    • Scheduled maintenance requirements
    • Expected service life

    Not all insurance companies require a Four Point Insurance Inspection and most typically only require it of homes older than 20 years upon issuance or renewal of a homeowner’s insurance policy. Please consult with your Insurance Agent prior to ordering a Four Point Insurance Inspection.

    Appointments available with only 24 hours notice. Please call (877) 496-4662 (staff available daily from 8am-8pm).

    You may also complete the short form below to schedule your Four Point Insurance Inspection.





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    Architecture branding #architecture,design,interior #design,miami,florida,furniture #design,museum #design,exhibition #design,midtown,rene #gonzalez,juan #camilo #diez, #florida #architect,florida #architects,texas #architect,modern

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    Juan Camilo Diez provides 12+ years of experience working in the fields of Architecture, Design and Developing. His experience encompasses a broad range of projects such as residential, hospitality and retail as well as sports venues and mixed-use developments, having led the design of over 2 million square feet of buildings. His designs use creativity and a strong understanding of proportions and function in order to resolve practical and formal challenges.

    As a LEED Accredited Professional, Camilo helps GA achieve architectural solutions to the ecological issues that surround our built environment. He is also a licensed Architect in Colombia, South America.

    Enrique Rene Gonzalez brings more than a decade of experience in all areas of Architecture and Real Estate Development. His unique and specialized experience centers on the design and execution of entertainment, retail, hospitality, luxury residential and civic projects. It also encompasses a hands-on grasp of strategy, marketing and business development that can provide a turn-key development of any project.

    Rene is a licensed Architect in the State of Texas and Florida, a member of the American Institute of Architects and certified with the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards. He also is a LEED Accredited Professional allowing GA to focus on green building practices and sustainability in each new design endeavor.

    Gonzalez Architecture is an architectural and interior design practice that has a commitment to design excellence. Specializing in hospitality, commercial and luxury residential design; we also provide valuable consultation on real estate development that delivers a hands-on grasp of strategy, marketing and business development for your endeavors. Our practice is distinguished by a deep sense of responsibility to clients, communities, and the creation of memorable architecture.

    Architecture, Interiors + Planning

    • Luxury Residential
    • Hospitality
    • Retail

    Graphic Design Consultation

    • Branding
    • Logo Design
    • Brochures
    • Land Acquisition Analysis
    • Pro Formas
    • Cost Analysis
    • Cash Flow Projections
    • Market Research
    • Preliminary Design Consultation
    • Pre-Construction Cost Analysis
    • Construction Administration
    • Cost Detail Analysis
    • Scheduling
    • Pay Application Analysis
    • Project Management





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