Five more residents evacuated to warehouse shelter file suit against nursing homes, owner

Published: Sep. 9, 2021 at 6:04 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Five additional residents have filed suit against seven nursing homes and their owner, Bob Dean, over the use of a warehouse to shelter hundreds of nursing home residents ahead of Hurricane Ida in the Tangipahoa Parish town of Independence.

Attorney Madro Bandaries filed a lawsuit late Wednesday on behalf of Cillén Meisler, whose sister Bridges Edmonds was evacuated from the Maison De’Ville Nursing Home in Harvey to the warehouse in Independence. Edmonds one of more than 800 nursing home residents that were sent to the warehouse to ride out Hurricane Ida in cramped conditions. Seven of those that were evacuated died, at least four of the deaths were linked to the storm.

Edmonds and Meisler spoke to FOX 8 about the conditions Edmonds experienced during the evacuation. She told FOX 8′s Lee Zurik she saw people she knew dying around her.

According to the lawsuit, Meisler’s attorney says the plans filed by the nursing homes were ‘incomplete or outright deceptive.’ The attorneys point to figures that showed the facility would hold far less than the 800 that were housed there during the storm.

The attorneys also mention how more than 800 people were packed into a warehouse during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Nobody was tested to determine if they were covid-free before entering the warehouse. No precautions were taken to provide social distancing among residents within the warehouses. Personal Protective Equipment was scarce, and most residents were not adequately protected from the risk of contracting Covid-19,” the lawsuit states.

On Thursday, attorney Morris Bart filed suit on behalf of four nursing home residents evacuated to the warehouse shelter in Tangipahoa Parish.

Bart’s lawsuit involves two residents from the Maison Orleans Senior Center in New Orleans and two from the South Lafourche Nursing and Rehab in Cut Off.

In the lawsuit, the attorneys said the warehouse was not zoned for use as a shelter and family members were not notified of their destination.

The lawsuit also mentions there was ‘insufficient water and food at the warehouse and no plan to distribute what food was available to residents. As a result, dehydration and malnourishment began to spread through the nursing home population.”

Those claims mirror claims in a class-action lawsuit filed earlier in the week on behalf of other nursing home residents.

FOX 8 has made numerous attempts to contact Bob Dean for additional comment, but he has not returned our calls.

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