After botched Hurricane Ida evacuation, judge approves $15M settlement with nursing home patients
BATON ROUGE - Bob Dean, a Baton Rouge businessman and nursing home owner who relocated more than 800 patients to a makeshift shelter to ride out Hurricane Ida, will pay out millions of dollars through his insurance to settle a lawsuit over last year's ill-fated evacuation.
WWL-TV reported Monday that a judge signed off on the $15 million settlement between Dean and the more than 800 patients who lived at the seven Louisiana nursing homes that were evacuated to the Independence warehouse. Roughly $12.5 million will go directly to the victims and their families, with the rest going toward attorneys' fees.
Inside the building, residents reported horrific living conditions, and state inspectors were shooed away from checking on the shelter in the days following the storm, when much of south Louisiana was still without electricity.
Four people died inside the warehouse before the state eventually staged a day-long rescue where they removed the patients. More than a dozen people who were moved to the shelter ultimately died in the weeks that followed, but the state only recognized five of them as "storm-related" deaths.
Dean's nursing homes had their licenses pulled after the ordeal, and he was criminally charged by the state earlier this year.
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