We’ve seen multiple instances where nursing homes were woefully unprepared to deal with the effects of weather events on their facilities and their residents. One of these occurred last year during Hurricane Ida.
Over 800 residents of seven Louisiana nursing homes were taken to an Independence warehouse once used to store pesticides as the hurricane approached. At least fifteen of them died before being removed from conditions described as “horrific.”
Louisiana Department of Health employees who went to the warehouse to check on the residents say they were threatened by the nursing home owner, so they returned with law enforcement to get them out. The evacuated residents had been placed on mattresses on the wet floor of the warehouse.
The owner is also facing multiple criminal charges
The owner of the nursing homes (which have since been closed) is facing criminal charges as well as multiple class action lawsuits. His attorneys recently notified a Louisiana appeals court that both sides in one of these class action suits have “reach[ed] an amicable resolution of this litigation.” His insurance policies would reportedly be able to compensate victims and surviving family members $15,000 to $17,000 for each person moved to that warehouse.
That’s not the end of the legal battles, however. One attorney for the victims and families said that there could be further lawsuits, including medical malpractice suits as well as civil actions against other parties, on the horizon. The owner also has some appeals in the works on his criminal charges, which include multiple felony counts of cruelty to persons with infirmities and Medicaid fraud.
This is certainly an extreme example of what can happen to elderly people entrusted to the care of those who own, manage and staff nursing homes. However, poor care and even medical malpractice occur in these facilities all the time. If a loved one has suffered because of negligent nursing home care, it’s crucial to have legal guidance to determine what your legal options are for seeking justice and compensation.