The Attorney General’s office should press charges against Dean, who had a previous conviction for cruelty to the infirm.
NEW ORLEANS — Struggling Louisiana nursing home owner Bob Dean Jr. is facing rapidly approaching legal deadlines as the one-year anniversary of the unfortunate evacuation of more than 800 of his patients in a nursing home in its ill-equipped and leaky warehouse is fast approaching. Tangipahoa Parish.
Dean traveled from his home in Georgia to appear in Amite court on Thursday, in what will likely be his last criminal court appearance before the deadline for the Louisiana attorney general’s office to file formal criminal charges.
Dean was convicted on June 23 with 15 counts of cruelty to the infirm, five counts of Medicaid fraud and two counts of obstruction of justice. The AG’s office has until August 23 to present the charges.
New Orleans attorney Morris Bart, who represents 150 plaintiffs who sued Bob Dean, took advantage of Dean’s appearance on Thursday to personally serve documents on him in those civil lawsuits on behalf of patients and their families.
The Louisiana Department of Health, which had to organize and urgently evacuate Dean’s patients amid deteriorating conditions, said at least four of those patients died as a direct result of lack of food, water, sanitation and medical supplies.
Bart said he was pushing for Dean to sit for a deposition in New Orleans Civil District Court as early as next week, which Dean has been dodging so far, with his lawyers claiming dementia and other health issues rendered him mentally incompetent to testify.
“Things are moving,” Bart said. “We are encircling it. And I expect he will eventually have to answer for the travesty that happened.
While Dean’s attorneys have filed a doctor’s note stating that their client is too ill to be interviewed, Bart and other attorneys are unconvinced and are seeking an independent medical diagnosis.
“Based on Bob Dean’s past conduct, we have reason to doubt his veracity regarding his competence or frankly anything he says,” Bart said.
Dean’s attorneys did not return calls for comment on Friday, but they previously said the 69-year-old had received approval from the LDH to use the Tangipahoa warehouse as an evacuation site and that the reports of dire conditions there had been exaggerated.
Bart said the evidence and testimony will prove otherwise.
“Even patients who have not suffered lasting injuries or deaths, can you imagine at that age the horror and humiliation of being in that warehouse for five days, lying on a mattress on the floor in water without adequate toilets, without adequate medical attention, without adequate food,” Bart said.
Dean’s civil legal troubles aren’t limited to New Orleans. Patients and their families have additional lawsuits in Jefferson and Tangipahoa Parishes.
“He must be held accountable financially and in every other way, including criminally,” Bart said, “for his outrageous conduct. That’s justice.
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