Almost 1,000 workers at Bob Dean’s network of seven Louisiana skilled nursing facilities are out of work as the owner battles with the state’s Department of Health to reclaim his license to operate, which was revoked after hundreds of residents were evacuated to an industrial warehouse during Hurricane Ida.
Employees moved 843 residents from those nursing homes 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.
Since September when the evacuation occurred, several residents’ families have filed lawsuits against Dean. 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.
Dean’s appeal of the license revocation will begin today. A panel of three judges with the state’s Division of Administrative Law have scheduled a prehearing telephone conference with attorneys for Dean and the Louisiana Department of Health, The Advocate reported. The parties reportedly will discuss the “matters in controversy,” exchange documents, identify witnesses and determine whether they need to schedule a hearing.
According to a local CBS news affiliate, attorney John McLindon, who is representing Dean in both the licensing revocation appeal and the lawsuits filed by former residents and employees, “argues that there were insufficient grounds to terminate the licenses and that the seven facilities were in ‘substantial compliance’ with local and federal guidelines.”