Saturday, September 08, 2007


Let me remind each of you, that Hurricane Katrina was not a tornado, earthquake, flash flood.

There was TIME to prepare.

As someone who has spent over half of their life working in extended care facilities, there are several people that should be held accountable for the deaths of these people. Owners, facility administrator, director of nursing. Where was the staff?

I have had to evacuate several care facilities at one time or another. Fire, tornadoes, you name it.

I have seen 19 year old 5 foot tall CNAs carry men twice their size over their shoulders to safety.

I also recall during a blizzard in Lincoln, Nebraska several of us actually walked to work. Over downed electrical wires, for miles, because we had a responsibility to those residents. Many of the staff who were off duty and knew there was no electricity prepared food at home and brought in in to the residents. A very caring and reliable staff.

And I had to remind myself that those sorts of people existed after reading this horrible story, and the horrible decision made by the jury.

The embarassment of Katrina continues.

The owners of a US nursing home where 35 people drowned during the Hurricane Katrina disaster have been acquitted of all charges by a Louisiana jury.

Salvador and Mabel Mangano faced 35 counts of negligent homicide and 24 counts of cruelty for not evacuating the premises as the storm approached.

Patients drowned - some in their beds - as the hurricane swept through the area in August 2005.

Hurricane Katrina claimed almost 1,700 lives in Louisiana and Mississippi.

A six-member jury arrived at the not guilty verdict after about three hours.

Mabel Mangano buried her face in her husband's shoulder as the verdict was read out. The victims' family and friends, who were all dressed in black clothing, remained seated.

Responsible action

The lawsuits were filed against the couple by patients injured at the St Rita's nursing home and the families of people who died there.

Prosecutors said the elderly residents had died in the rising flood waters after the couple discounted evacuation orders and repeated warnings as the hurricane approached.

The owners allegedly turned down an offer from local officials to take the patients out by bus and did not call in a contract ambulance service.

However, the Manganos argued that their hurricane plan - to keep frail residents in place with food, water and generators - was a responsible course of action, and that if the levees had held, the tragedy would have been avoided.

No comments: