Nursing home owner plans to fight back after licenses pulled in wake of deadly Ida evacuation
A Baton Rouge nursing home owner under investigation following a deadly mass evacuation to a makeshift shelter ahead of Hurricane Ida plans to fight back after his licenses were revoked.
Bob Dean Jr.'s attorney, John McLindon, tells WBRZ they are "absolutely filing an appeal" within the next two weeks, claiming the grounds the Louisiana Department of Health used to justify the revocation of his seven nursing home licenses weren't correct.
So far at least five lawsuits have been filed after more than 800 residents were kept in reportedly sub-standard conditions in a Tangipahoa warehouse to ride out the storm; the state attorney general has said he's also investigating the incident.
When asked about the conditions at the shelter, McLindon says it wasn't as bad as the press portrayed it. He also says members of the staff he spoke with are upset because they felt they worked extremely hard in a very difficult situation, and now they're being attacked.
McLindon also addressed the dozens of 911 calls made from the shelter, some of which came from residents, that WBRZ's Investigative team uncovered. He said he asked administrators about it, and he was told it wasn't uncommon for residents to make calls to 911, and they'll make those calls just about every day under normal circumstances.
Ultimately, McLindon says the evacuation plan was approved by LDH, but admits they may have gone over the capacity levels "a little bit." He said when they realized the hurricane was shifting, they decided to put the patients in the strongest of the three buildings they had.
As far as criminal charges, Dean's attorney says he hasn't seen any evidence that would rise to the level of criminal charges being filed.
Seven people housed at the warehouse-turned-makeshift shelter have died, and a dozen more needed urgent medical care and hospitalization after being rescued. Hundreds more were transferred to state shelters.