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15 deaths amongst nursing house sufferers moved to warehouse

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The demise toll has risen from seven to fifteen amongst nursing house residents evacuated earlier than Hurricane Ida to a warehouse the place situations have been discovered too squalid for security, the state well being division stated Thursday.

Nonetheless, a division assertion famous that some deaths could also be unrelated to the storm or situations within the warehouse.

“As time passes and given the well being situations that required a nursing house stage of care, sadly the variety of deaths amongst this group is more likely to enhance,” it stated. “That’s the reason you will need to make a distinction between the variety of complete deaths no matter trigger and the variety of storm-related deaths.”

The quantity that coroners have categorized as storm-related stays at 5, Division of Well being spokesman Kevin Litten stated in an e mail. He stated coroners are investigating others.

John McLindon, legal professional for Bob Dean, who owns seven nursing houses evacuated to the warehouse, stated he’s assured that Dean might be cleared.

“There’s no proof that the evacuation induced or contributed to any of those deaths,” he stated.

The well being division has stated that 843 folks have been dropped at the warehouse within the city of Independence, and greater than 50 of them needed to be hospitalized afterward.

Authorities stated the warehouse stank of urine and feces, with some folks mendacity in soiled garments, with out meals, on mattresses on the ground. Trash was piled on the ground, there was water within the constructing and turbines no less than briefly failed, state officers stated.

McLindon stated he’ll enchantment the division’s revocation of Dean’s nursing house licenses and Medicaid supplier agreements by the Oct. 6 deadline.

The primary 5 deaths have been all amongst folks on hospice therapy, he stated. “Whenever you’re in hospice, you’re on the finish of your life,” McLindon stated.

The Instances-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate first reported the rise in deaths.

The state legal professional normal has begun a felony investigation, and state well being officers are investigating the deaths.

Dean has advised information retailers that, given their age and frailty, two or three folks at his houses have died every day below regular circumstances.

Dean is dealing with no less than 5 lawsuits from nursing house residents and their households, the newspaper reported.