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Nursing Home Litigation

Bagneris Law Firm, along with attorneys Madro Bandaries and Steven Rando, has filed a lawsuit against the owners and operators of seven nursing homes that made a negligent administrative decision to evacuate residents to a warehouse during Hurricane Ida. With at least five (5) days warning prior, on August 29, 2021, in mid-afternoon, Hurricane IDA with Category 4 winds impacted south Louisiana, including Orleans and Jefferson Parish. Bob Dean along with administrators working at his direction representing seven (7) nursing homes, made the administrative decision to remove the some 900 residents of the six nursing homes listed as defendants above, to a remote area in Tangipahoa Parish near the town of Independence. The physical address of the evacuation site was 129 Calhoun Street, Independence, Louisiana 70443. The nursing homes included in the evacuation were: 1) South Lafourche Nursing and Rehabilitation Center (South Lafourche); 2) Maison De’Ville Nursing Home of Houma; 3) River Palms Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, 4) Maison Orleans Healthcare of New Orleans, 5) Maison De’Ville Nursing Home of Harvey; 6) West Jefferson Healthcare Center of Harvey; and 7) Park Place Healthcare, LLC of Gretna (Park Place). All of the nursing homes involved in the evacuation are owned by New Orleans businessman Bob Dean who also owned the warehouses that were turned into a shelter. The warehouse was expected to hold around 300 people, according to authorities in Tangipahoa Parish. However, the total of people housed in the warehouse was near 900.

Relatives of the residents were not told of the removal of their loved ones, nor advised as to how to contact them or where they were being taken and as of this date, many relatives still have no knowledge of the whereabouts of these plaintiffs. Louisiana Revised Statutes and promulgated Administrate laws control and regulate Louisiana-based nursing homes, in particular Title 40. 1 Nursing homes are required to have evacuation plans filed with the regulating authority and approved by the same in anticipation of natural emergencies, in particular hurricanes. All of the subject nursing facilities clearly failed to execute their emergency preparedness plans to provide essential care and services to their residents, according to LDH Secretary Dr. Courtney N. Phillips.

Plaintiffs aver that defendants filed such plans, however, they were incomplete or outright deceptive. In particular, the Tangipahoa Parish site was alleged by defendants to be able to hold 300 residents. This is notwithstanding that it was not a Nursing facility, did not meet the requirements of providing for Nursing home patients, had improper bedding if any, very few toilets, augmented by portable toilets, with many patients having to relieve themselves in corners. There was no firm food or water supply or way to dispense it as will be shown in numerous videos.  More deadly violations were the absence of patients’ medications, as well as oxygen. There was also a shortage of trained staff, thus making any medications or assistance to plaintiffs negligent on its face.

Thus, the final location for the almost 900 residents, most of whom were Medicaid or Medicare funded individuals was a former “Fruit of the Loom” underwear manufacturing site owned by defendant Bob Dean through a juridical entity. In no way could a reasonable person describe it as a “nursing facility”, and further, plaintiffs aver that they were not told where they were being taken and were put on buses with little or no extra clothing, as well as no mediation and in some instances, oxygen-dependent residents were taken without their oxygen thus causing them severe emotional distress and other damages, including death. On information and belief, at least six (6) of the plaintiffs have died as of this date, with specific causes of action addressed below.

The warehouses were uninhabitable. They lacked adequate power sources. In the midst of the storm, the generators that powered Oxygen concentrators lost power with no backup energy source. As a result, patients who were oxygen-dependent were being manually oxygenated to the extent possible. The warehouses lacked a sufficient air supply. It was extraordinarily hot. The warehouses lacked adequate food supply for the residents. As such, many residents began to suffer dehydration and heat exhaustion. When residents began to “code,” the nursing staff had to call 911 for assistance. The warehouses started to flood. There are reports of at least 8 inches of water on the floor. Staff was placing wet mattresses on the bottom and dry mattresses on top. Residents’ diapers were being changed without any privacy. Residents’ bedding was less than one foot apart with only 3 residents wearing masks in overcrowded conditions.

In the midst of the Covid-19 global 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.

State regulators (LDH surveyors) became aware of the situation after they were informed by local authorities who responded to 911 calls for help of at least the death of four (4) residents. When LDH surveyors attempted to inspect the “warehouses” on Tuesday, August 31, two days after the hurricane, they were denied entrance by the defendants’ staff and were the subject of intimidation. Fox 8 (a media outlet) obtained transcripts of text messages between Bob Dean and an agent from LDH evidencing the intimidation (Exhibit “B”, Bob Dean Text Messages)

The State Fire Marshal, also on August 31, inspected the “warehouses” now being used as a nursing home finding numerous violations of state law, as well as the obstruction or blockage of multiple entrances to the warehouse.

As of this date, the Louisiana Department of Health has revoked the licenses of the above-named nursing homes as well as terminated any provider agreements issued by the “Department”. A copy of the revocation letter issued by the Louisiana Department of Health regarding Park Place is attached.

UPDATE: January 2022

Many of the Plaintiff attorneys meet every Tuesday to develop a joint strategy for prosecuting this case. In December, the Plaintiffs’ attorneys worked collaboratively to retain photographers, videographers, and a host of expert witnesses in various fields such as Industrial Hygienist, Former Nursing Home Administrators, Architects/Contractors, Engineers, Medical Doctors, etc.

On December 20, 2021, the Plaintiff attorneys and their expert witnesses inspected the warehouses in Independence, Louisiana, where the placed were housed during Hurricane Ida. They will conduct a second inspection of the warehouses in January 2022 at a date to be announced.

Bob Dean’s attorneys have removed all of the filed cases to the United States District Court for the Eastern District alleging that Bob Dean moved to Georgia on September 1, 2022, with an intent to make that his permanent home. All plaintiff attorneys have filed Motions to Remand the cases back to state court believing that Mr. Dean has falsified his residency in Georgia and committed “fraudulent removal.” Judge Africk has allowed the Plaintiffs to conduct limited discovery regarding the jurisdictional issue. On January 18 and 19, 2022, the Plaintiff attorneys will conduct the depositions of Bob Dean and his spouse to determine where they really reside to determine whether the case belongs in federal or state court.

Judge Africk will rule on the jurisdictional issue in February 2022.

If you or a loved one would like more information about this case, please call Bagneris Law Firm at 504-810-3995.



The plaintiffs steering committee has reached a $12.5 million dollar settlement with Bob Dean Jr. and his insurers on November 7, 2022. Judge Michael Mentz certified the class and approved the settlement. The next step is for parties to complete proof of claim forms. We anticipate disbursement of settlement funds to be within the next six months.


This is to provide you with an update regarding the Bob Dean Nursing Home Class Action Litigation. Judge Michael Mentz approved the class action settlement in November 2022, after a very contentious hearing wherein Morris Bart, PLC filed an objection. Judge Mentz certified the settlement class and denied Mr. Bart’s objection. Mr. Bart indicated that he was going to appeal Judge Mentz’s ruling. He would have had 67 days to file an appeal. Judge Mentz could not take action to move forward during the delay for the appeal to run. The deadline elapsed in February 2023. In the interim, Judge Mentz appointed a Special Master Retired Judge Rusty Knight to preside over the claims review and allocation process. Judge Knight began meeting with Class Counsel in December for input in developing a Proof of Claim form. Now, that the appeal delays have elapsed, Judge Knight is in the process of completing a Proof of Claim form for approval of Judge Mentz. We anticipate that the approval process will take place in March or April and that the forms will be distributed to all claimants by the Special Master no later than May 2023. As soon as the forms are available, we will assist our clients to complete them. There are no court dates set at this time. There is nothing else to report at this time.


As you know, several lawsuits were filed against the Louisiana Department of Health in connection with the Bob Dean Nursing Home Residents of seven nursing homes that were evacuated to the warehouse in Independence, Louisiana, as a result of Hurricane Ida. The Ordu lawsuit was one of the cases filed against LDH seeking damages for LDH’s approval of the warehouse as an evacuation shelter, failure to rescue residents sooner than they did, and handling of the rescue efforts. Plaintiffs claimed that:
  • LDH had a duty to receive and approve each nursing home’s evacuation plan and should never have approved Bob Dean’s plan to evacuate human beings with medical needs to a warehouse;
  • LDH went to the warehouse before the storm made landfall and saw that conditions were unsuitable for housing human beings, but did not transfer the residents;
  • LDH was getting frantic calls from the warehouse to rescue the residents, but allowed Bob Dean to threaten them and bar access to the warehouse instead of rescuing the residents earlier; and
  • LDH botched the rescue effort and failed to retrieve important medical records and medication to transfer with residents to new facilities.
LDH filed exceptions of no cause of action arguing that it was not legally obligated to approve evacuation plans; rather, it is legally obligated to receive and file them away. LDH argued that it has governmental immunity for any actions it took during a hurricane evacuation.
The exceptions in all of the other cases except Ordu came for hearing several months ago. The various presiding judges over those cases granted the exceptions in favor of LDH and dismissed the cases against them. The Ordu case was the last remaining case filed against LDH. Last week, LDH’s exception was heard by Judge William Jorden in the Ordu lawsuit. After patiently listening to very impassioned and vigorous arguments on both sides, Judge Jorden said he “begrudgingly grants LDH’s exception and dismisses the case against it.” Judge Jorden said that he believes LDH should do more than just serve as a filing cabinet for evacuation plans. Since the filing of the lawsuit, the law has changed to set forth in detail what the legal obligations of LDH are regarding approval of evacuation plans; however, this is a change in the law. Prior to the filing of the Ordu lawsuit, LDH had no legal responsibility for approving hurricane evacuation plans. The Judge stated that what happened to the residents was horrible, but unfortunately there was no legal obligation on the part of LDH to approve the plans as of August 2021.
Next, the Judge stated that while it was negligent for LDH to leave the medical records and medication behind when it rescued the residents, he believes that governmental immunity applies to protect LDH for the actions it took related to a natural disaster.  As such, ALL CLAIMS AGAINST LDH HAVE BEEN DISMISSED.
In sum, we fought the good fight for the Bob Dean nursing home residents. We attempted to hold LDH legally accountable to them. Our efforts resulted in a change in the law for the protection of all nursing home residents in Louisiana. However, there will be no recovery for damages against LDH.