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Katrina negligence lawsuit has implications for all hospitals

USA Today, January 12, 2010

Althea LaCoste, 73, died before she could be evacuated from Pendleton Memorial Methodist Hospital in the chaotic days after Hurricane Katrina four and a half years ago. Now LaCoste's death is at the center of a civil lawsuit that could have far-reaching implications for hospitals across the country. The lawsuit against Methodist Hospital is the first civil suit alleging negligence of a hospital staff in Katrina's aftermath, USA Today reports. It could pave the way for future lawsuits across the country for how hospitals react to a variety of emergencies, from viral pandemics to street riots, says Sean Ahrens, a project manager with Aon Corp., a risk-management and insurance advisory firm to hospitals.