Fifth lawsuit filed following nursing home evacuation to Tangipahoa Parish
A fifth lawsuit has been filed following the nursing home evacuation ahead of Hurricane Ida that left more than 800 residents living in reportedly sub-standard conditions in a Tangipahoa warehouse.
The WBRZ Investigative Unit reported on the first two lawsuits last week. The first class action suit was filed in Jefferson Parish, on behalf of family members of a resident. The second suit was filed in East Baton Rouge on Friday by a former employee; this suit also names the state of Louisiana as a defendant.
The third suit was filed on Thursday by Attorney Morris Bart in Orleans Parish civil court on behalf of four nursing home residents and their families. Named as defendants are Bob Dean Jr. and multiple nursing homes.
The suit says the warehouse where the residents were taken was unsuitable, and the patients were exposed to harsh conditions that deprived them of their human dignity, as well as caused injuries and death to many. Family members say they were told the facility the residents were being evacuated to was like a nursing home, not a warehouse owned by Bob Dean Jr. They say they only learned the truth when seeing reports on the news.
Family members also say residents who were eventually evacuated from the warehouse were transferred to facilities throughout the state, many suffering from dehydration, infection, malnourishment, and sores. When family members went to retrieve their loved ones' belongings, some say they received bags of wet clothes covered in feces; some said they received other patients' belongings.
The fourth suit was filed on Friday by Garcia & Artigliere in Orleans Parish civil court on behalf of the sister of one of the residents at the home. Named in the suit are Bob Dean Jr., his company Louisiana Healthcare Consultants and multiple nursing homes. The attorneys are seeking class-action status, the second lawsuit that has done so.
This lawsuit claims the defendants moved the residents to an inadequate shelter, misled family members who tried to locate their loved ones during and after Hurricane Ida, and failed to provide sufficient resources to ensure the residents' safety and basic human dignity. The suit also alleges residents were forced to use the bathroom in five-gallon buckets filled with cat litter, restroom areas were placed adjacent to eating areas, and many were forced to be covered in human waste for prolonged periods of time. The suit alleges Dean intentionally concealed what was happening and failed to request assistance from the state.
A fifth suit was filed in Tangipahoa on September 8th by one of the residents who was evacuated. The defendants named are Bob Dean Jr. and multiple nursing homes. The claims mirror what the other suits have already alleged, that the facility was inadequate and overcrowded, and families and state agencies were both misled.
This suit also seeks class-action status.
The WBRZ Investigative Unit reported that at least 50 calls to 911 were placed from the warehouse in the aftermath of Ida. When state inspectors showed up, they were turned away from the facility.
The state health department has since pulled the licenses of the seven nursing homes that evacuated there. The Louisiana Attorney General's Office is also heading an investigation looking into what happened.
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