NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) – It took her aunt six months to move into the retirement home where Janice Verdin worked, but she says her Aunt Marie started dancing again.
“I like having her there because I could watch her closely,” Verdin said.
Verdin would end up watching his aunt very closely as they evacuated to an Independence warehouse for Hurricane Ida along with hundreds of others.
“Every time we walked in he would come in and you would see the mattresses on the floor which were the first red flag for me, it was bright 24/7. The locals are crying for help, this is probably the worst, they have been dirty for so long and there is nothing to be done. We should never have been placed in a warehouse in these conditions with porta with only four sinks for washing hands and no COVID protocol in place, it should never have happened, ”said Verdin.
According to her, the only positive point was to distract her aunt from crowded quarters.
“Start singing a song like you’re happy and you know it because I knew it would piss her off and she laughs,” Verdin said.
Verdin is one of dozens of nurses suing owner Bob Dean, claiming he cut their paychecks after working around the clock during the evacuation.
She says at the end of the day it’s not about the money.
“We are entrusted with taking care of these residents. If a storm hits we will get them to a safe place where they have everything they need, I kinda feel my dog’s kennel was better than the one we were placed in, I take care of my animal is morally better than he thinks to take care of us and the residents, ”said Verdin.
“The reasons they gave for revoking the license are false and they will not be able to prove them in a trial that they are not justified,” said John McLindon.
Already facing several lawsuits, Dean’s lawyers have also filed an appeal to reinstate his nursing home licenses withdrawn by the Department of Health following the warehouse incident.
“He and his staff are in a very quick situation and quite honestly they did a hell of a good job in light of everything that was going on, so I don’t think they have the right to vote these licenses out. they just did. I think they have overstepped their limits; I think they rushed their judgment here, ”McLindon said.
“I just hope he doesn’t get his licenses back, that would be a big mistake,” Verdin said.
Returning home from the warehouse, Verdin says her grief continued when her Aunt Marie contracted and died from COVID.
“Part of me wishes we hadn’t put her in the nursing home because now, six months later, she’s gone,” Verdin said.
She says the nurses did all they could in this warehouse, now vowing to make sure no one else was going through this.
“There is no excuse for knowing where we were, but there is no excuse, there is no way he could justify this… I could look him in the face and say absolutely no”, a said Verdin.
Verdin said it wasn’t the only time the dean had failed in his eyes to safely evacuate the residents of the nursing home. She said the same thing happened in 2008 at a Winn Dixie.
Dean’s attorney says they aim to have a trial before a panel of judges to reinstate his licenses.
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