New Orleans Hospital Settles Hurricane Katrina Lawsuit

The Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans and its owner, Tenet Healthcare, reached a last minute settlement in a class-action lawsuit stemming from deaths and injuries in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The parties reached a settlement in mid-March, as the jury selection process was underway. The terms are confidential and the court should approve it in the coming weeks.

After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the hospital became home to about 2000 patients, medical workers and other staff. Family members of deceased patients as well as injured patients filed suit against the hospital alleging it was not prepared to care for the patients. The hospital’s lower level was under 10 feet of water, electricity failed and temperatures inside the hospital rose above 100 degrees. Officials eventually recovered 45 bodies from the hospital.

With approximately 85 percent of New Orleans flooded, there was little food and water at the hospital and many died from dehydration. It took four days for rescue boats and helicopters to come to aid. A new owner purchased the hospital and changed its name to Ochsner Baptist Medical Center.

A New Orleans injury lawyer can help you if you suffer injuries from another’s reckless or negligent behavior. Contact an experienced New Orleans injury attorney for a free case review about your injuries. 

Harrell & Nowak has successfully tried and settled class action cases, including one for environmental hazards that spread a caustic dust throughout a neighborhood.