After Ida deaths, Louisiana revokes nursing home licenses

After Ida deaths, Louisiana revokes nursing home licenses


BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana health officials said Tuesday they are revoking the licenses of nursing homes that were evacuated to a warehouse where seven residents died amid deteriorating conditions deemed too squalid to be safe after Hurricane Ida.

The seven homes — all owned by one person — “clearly failed to execute their emergency preparedness plans to provide essential care and services to their residents,” Department of Health Secretary Courtney Phillips said in a statement.

Authorities found some nursing home residents lying on mattresses on the floor, without food or clean clothes, and detected strong odors of urine and feces throughout the warehouse, located in the town of Independence. Piles of trash were on the floor. Water entered the building, and generators at least temporarily failed, according to officials. Health department lawyer Stephen Russo called the conditions “inhumane.”

State health officials and Attorney General Jeff Landry have launched investigations into the deaths. A police official said the Tangipahoa Parish warehouse was equipped to handle 300 to 500 people but ultimately took in more than 800, all of whom were evacuated from the seven nursing homes before Ida roared ashore in southeast Louisiana on Aug. 29.

“When issues arose post-storm, we now know the level of care for these residents plummeted,” Phillips said. She added, “Ultimately, lives were lost. These were grandparents, neighbors and friends, and we know families are hurting.”

State health officials said the owner, Bob Dean, failed to contact them for help and threw inspectors from the agency off the property when they arrived to review the conditions onsite after receiving reports of problems. Still, authorities said they saw enough two days after the storm to warrant...

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