September 13, 2005

Nursing Home Owners Charged In Katrina Deaths


The owners of St. Rita's nursing home in St. Bernard Parish were charged with 34 counts of involuntary homicide today, announced Louisiana Attorney General Charles Foti at a press conference.

Mable B. Mangano and Salvador A. Mangano, turned themselves into authorities and are in custody in the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison.

Foti said the arrests were in connection with the deaths of residents of St. Rita's during the Hurricane Katrina catastrophe.

He said it was the owners' duty to "follow reasonable practices" in safeguarding the well-being of the facility's residents.

"When accepting patients, it is their duty to provide a standard of care for them," Foti said.

"The pathetic thing is they were asked if they wanted to move them (the patients) out, and they said they did not," he said, noting that the owners of the nursing home had been repeatedly warned of the dangers of the approaching storm.

"Their inaction resulted in these deaths," Foti said.

These nursing home owners are responsible for their charges, and they failed a sacred trust, not to mention a basic human duty.

Other people also failed those that depend on them in Louisiana... we'll see if they are also charged for their ineptitude that contributed to at least some of the deaths of the 400 people recovered from Katrina's floodwater's so far.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at September 13, 2005 07:31 PM | TrackBack

I was listening to Judge Andrew Napalitano on FOX earlier today, and as outspoken as he is, his comment was something to this effect, "Cases like this are the reason we have trial by jury..."

I have to agree... A jury trial is bound to happen, and the civil suits will be outrageous...

There was also a point made that was roughly this, "Would they have been able to stand, and live thru an evacuation in a Cat 4 or 5 Hurricane??"

That spectulation has "Screw them, I AM OUTTA HERE" written all over it IMO...

Posted by: TexasFred at September 14, 2005 10:58 AM

Yes, this screams for a jury trial, but I think that if the owners are smart, they'll try and cut a deal. Hearing about 34 individual cases of death in detail will surely provide the jury with enough emotional content to want to administer the death penalty without delay.

The lawyer for the owners is already laying groundwork for the defense - that it was too dangerous to move these patients because doing so while they were connected to feeding tubes or ventilators/oxygen could have resulted in their death.

The counter is that not moving them increased their risk of injury or death to near 100% due to the severity of the storm.

Also, no one seems to know why they hestitated - though there is a story that the owners were waiting for a mandatory evac order. The parish coroner had called the home wondering if they needed help in evacuating, which should have given the owners an inkling of the severity of the situation, but that didn't seem to get across.

But, another possiblity is that the owners will try to pin this on parish officials for not declaring a mandatory evacuation, which they would have done - again by balancing the risk of keeping the patients in situ versus moving them to higher ground.

Posted by: lawhawk at September 14, 2005 09:49 PM