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Tag Archives: Hurricane Katrina

Hospital settles post-Katrina wrongful death suit

Pendleton Memorial Methodist Hospital in New Orleans and its corporate parent have settled a wrongful-death lawsuit brought by the family of a 73-year-old woman who died after Hurricane Katrina left the hospital without electricity. Terms of the settlement with Althea LaCoste's family were sealed. The suit was expected to test the limits of hospitals' liability for disaster planning. But the settlement leaves the larger legal issues unresolved with many similar cases awaiting future juries.

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Katrina tort suit has implications for all hospitals

Once the power blinked out, Althea LaCoste's lungs were on their own. She struggled to breathe without the help of a respirator, and even a team of nurses hand-bagging air into her ailing lungs couldn't save her, according to court documents. LaCoste, 73, died before she could be evacuated from Pendleton Memorial Methodist Hospital in the chaotic days after Hurricane Katrina. LaCoste's death 4½ years ago is at the center of a lawsuit being heard in Louisiana that could have far-reaching implications for hospitals across the country.

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Lawyers USA’s Top Ten Opinions of 2009

As the year comes to a close, here’s a look back at 10 of the most ground-breaking decisions issued by federal and state courts in 2009.

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