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Nursing home residents close to reaching multimillion-dollar settlement after being moved to warehouse for Hurricane Ida

1 month 6 days 10 hours ago Thursday, August 25 2022 Aug 25, 2022 August 25, 2022 1:36 PM August 25, 2022 in News
Source: WBRZ

METAIRIE, La. – A major settlement is close to being signed after residents of several south Louisiana nursing homes were moved to a warehouse, where many suffered and some died after Hurricane Ida.

During a press conference Thursday, attorneys for residents of nursing homes owned by Bob Dean said a Jefferson Parish judge has signed a preliminary approval of a settlement for proceeds of insurance policies.

The final settlement amount has not been determined, but the amount will be somewhere between $13 and $15 million.

“It is vital that these elderly and vulnerable victims be compensated for what they had to endure now, while still reserving the right to continue other legal action in the future,” said Blair Constant, an attorney at Couhig Partners, which is representing the residents and their families.

More than 800 residents from seven nursing homes in Ida’s path were moved to the warehouse. Four residents in the warehouse died before officials could evacuate anyone. Others died days later.

There will be a fairness hearing on Oct 3 for a judge to decide whether to issue final approval of the settlement. If approved, the money will be distributed by an impartial special master appointed by the court.

“This was never about money. For me, it’s about making sure Mr. Dean can never do this to anyone else,” said Janice Verdin, a nurse who was at the warehouse and lost her aunt. “The residents I took care of were like my family, and so not only did I lose my aunt, but I also lost so many people I cared about.

“No amount of money will ever reverse what happened last August, but we are grateful that this settlement will help the survivors and their families now.”

Dean was charged in June with eight felony counts of cruelty to persons with infirmities, five felony counts of Medicaid fraud, and two felony counts of obstruction of justice.

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