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St. Rita's Owners Say A.G. Can't Blame Them And Government For Nursing Home Deaths
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
July 26, 2007

ST. FRANCISVILLE, LOUISIANA--The owners of St. Rita's nursing home want a judge to remove Louisiana Attorney General Charles Foti from prosecuting their negligent homicide cases.

Defense attorneys for Salvador and Mabel Mangano filed a legal motion on July 23, saying Foti can't blame the couple for the deaths of 35 residents during and after Hurricane Katrina because he has already blamed the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the flooding that inundated St. Bernard's Parish where the nursing home is located.

The Manganos have been accused of failing to evacuate the residents, most of which died in wheelchairs or their beds, even though they had opportunities to do so before Katrina struck on August 29, 2005. The couple also faces dozens of personal injury and wrongful death suits filed by family members of those who died at St. Rita's.

The Manganos have sued a number of federal, state and local agencies and officials, accusing governmental authorities of failing to make sure the facility's residents were evacuated. They also name the Army Corps of Engineers, which built the levees that failed after Katrina passed. The couple has said they did not believe St. Rita's was in danger of flooding because it is located in a section of New Orleans that is 12 feet above sea level and they could not have predicted that the levees would break.

According to the Times-Picayune, the judge in the case did decide to allow photographs of some flooding victims inside the nursing home to be presented in court.

The trial against the Manganos is scheduled to begin August 13.

Related:
"St. Rita's owners want Foti off case" (Times-Picayune)

http://www.inclusiondaily.com/news/07/red/0726d.htm
"People With Disabilities Among Hardest Hit By Hurricanes Katrina & Rita" (Inclusion Daily Express)
http://www.inclusiondaily.com/news/05/katrina.htm

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