A senior man is being helped out of a truck by volunteers after being evacuated during Hurricane Ida
Credit: PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images

A Louisiana operator facing dozens of lawsuits over botched evacuations that left 15 nursing home residents dead following Hurricane Ida is claiming he can’t sit for depositions due to “significant dementia and cognitive impairment.” 

Lawyers for operator Bob Dean have filed two letters in federal court detailing his medical condition aiming to limit his participation in proceedings, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported Thursday. The letters were written by Georgia-based neurologist Peter Lee, M.D. and hematologist Gerald Goldklang, M.D.

Lee said he had been treating Dean since late September for “significant cognitive and memory impairment” after an oral surgery during the summer. The conditions cause him to be “easily confused,” have poor memory and anxiety. 

He also said that sitting for a deposition “could exacerbate his medical and psychiatric conditions,” according to the report. 

Goldklang told the court he’s treating Dean for a high red blood cell count, which causes him to have short- and long-term memory issues. That makes him “unable to focus on tasks or respond appropriately to questioning.” 

Public outrage followed the evacuation of more than 800 residents to an otherwise empty warehouse in preparation for Hurricane Ida. The residents were all from facilities owned by Dean, who also owned the warehouse. 

After conditions at the warehouse declined post-evacuation, state officials revoked licenses and terminated state Medicaid provider agreements for Dean’s nursing homes.

An attorney representing several parties suing Dean called the move a “sideshow.” 

“None of these motions change my opinion that he’s going to be held accountable and he’s going to have to pay,” attorney Matthew Hemmer told the newspaper.