The Daily Comet, March 22, 2011
A last-minute effort to work out a settlement with Tenet Health Systems and Memorial Medical Center in a lawsuit over deaths at the hospital during Hurricane Katrina was unsuccessful, leaving jury selection for the trial to begin Tuesday afternoon. Attorney Joe Bruno represents the family of Leonard Preston, who died at Memorial after the 2005 storm hit. Bruno said Monday that the plaintiffs are eager to settle, but the two sides were far apart financially. The class-action suit was brought on behalf of several people who were at the hospital or who had a relative die during the hurricane and the flooding that ensued. It claims that the hospital was not prepared to care for the patients as conditions in the city deteriorated and that there was no plan to evacuate the patients, both of which led to deaths at Memorial.