scales of justice

The owner of seven Louisiana nursing homes embroiled in a class action lawsuit filed a motion in federal court Friday asking the court to dismiss the claim.

More than a dozen families are suing Bob Dean over residents’ treatment as they evacuated ahead of Hurricane Ida. Employees moved 843 residents from the nursing homes, located throughout Louisiana, to their designated evacuation site, which was a warehouse that Dean owns in Independence, LA. The residents remained in the warehouse for five days, during which time the conditions allegedly deteriorated; several residents subsequently died

According to court records, the plaintiffs claim that the conditions were unsanitary and that residents slept on mattresses on the floor until the warehouse flooded and the state intervened. Dean consistently has denied any wrongdoing.  

“In an interesting twist in his motion to kill the lawsuits, Dean’s attorneys cite a law used by the plaintiffs in most of the suits — the Nursing Home Residents Bill of Rights — claiming it blocks them from collecting damages,” local CBS affiliate 4WWL reported. Dean’s attorneys  say that he is protected by a provision in the law that allows patients/residents to seek an injunction but not monetary damages.

“Because the shelter was emptied before the suit was filed, there is no justiciable issue for the Court to decide,” Dean’s attorneys wrote in court documents.

In addition to the lawsuits, the state of Louisiana has revoked licenses and terminated state Medicaid provider agreements for seven properties. Dean is appealing the license revocations.