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Family speaks out as lawsuits pile up in deadly nursing home evacuation

2 years 10 months 1 week ago Monday, September 13 2021 Sep 13, 2021 September 13, 2021 7:22 PM September 13, 2021 in News
Source: WBRZ

A growing number of lawsuits now aim at owners, managers and regulators of nursing homes evacuated to a warehouse during Hurricane Ida.

More than 800 residents crammed into the makeshift shelter left in poor conditions, where seven people died.

"Somehow, the state of Louisiana approved a hurricane evacuation plan and said 'you know what? We're going to roll out 800 some cots, stick them in a hot warehouse with two to three port-o-potties in there, and just leave these people to sit until the storm blows over," said Ron Haley, an attorney for one of the victims.

Lawsuits have been filed in Baton Rouge and the New Orleans area. A former employee's suing her bosses and the state.

The woman's daughter tells us her mother couldn't be found during a chaotic evacuation of seven different nursing homes where residents were sent to the warehouse in independence.

"Nobody's parent or loved one deserves to be treated that way," said Tanya Fazande, daughter of Darlene Franklin. "My mother is a retired nurse, always worked in a nursing home caring for elderly. And for her to end up there being treated like that, I'm not good with that."

Haley is representing Darlene Franklin and the woman's family.

They are suing the Louisiana Department of Health, the nursing home company and owner Bob Dean.

"They were not getting their proper care, they weren't getting food, they were not being changed, they were not getting their medicine," Haley said.

The state revoked Dean's licenses of the facilities involved.

"It's a little bit too late for the seven individuals that died. It's a little bit too late for the other 836 people that were left in inhumane conditions," Haley said.

The Louisiana Attorney Generals' office is also heading an investigation looking into what happened.

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