NOLA Nursing Home Owners Charged With Negligent Homicide
The owners of the New Orleans nursing home where 34 elderly and infirm patients died have been charged with negligent homicide.
Mable Mangano and her husband, Salvador Mangano Sr., surrendered to Medicaid fraud investigators in Baton Rouge on Tuesday and were being held in a parish prison. The Manganos declined an offer from St. Bernard Parish authorities of buses to evacuate the residents of their facility, and they did not use a contract they had with an ambulance service, the state said.
The couple has been released on bond. Their lawyer says they were faced with a Hobbsian choice:
The nursing home owners had to make a difficult decision between evacuating the patients, many of them elderly and on feeding tubes, or keeping them at the home and weathering the storm, [Lawyer Jim Cobb said. "If you pull that trigger too soon those people are going to die," he said. Three people from another nursing home had died during the evacuation ahead of the hurricane.
But the Attorney General of Louisiana says:
....the nursing home had a contract with an ambulance service to evacuate the patients, but the owners didn't call the company. They also turned down an offer from St. Bernard Parish officials who asked if the nursing home wanted help evacuating, he said....."They had a duty and a standard of care to people who could not care for themselves," Foti said of the owners. "If you or I decided we are going to stay, we do it of our own free will. ... The people at the nursing home don't have that choice."
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