A federal judge has dismissed a wrongful death lawsuit filed by families of three people who died in the immediate, desperate days after Hurricane Katrina when the New Orleans region was stranded without proper emergency services. U.S. District Court Judge Jay Zainey recently ...agreed with federal officials who said they cannot be sued for such Katrina deaths because they have immunity, granted by the Stafford Act and the Federal Tort Claims Act. ..."One might contend that the federal decisions made in conjunction with Hurricane Katrina demonstrated nonchalance and/or incompetence on the part of those involved," Zainey wrote in a 23-page decision issued Saturday and filed in court Tuesday. "The government has publicly admitted that it made many mistakes in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. One can only speculate at this point whether these mistakes caused the tragic deaths of the decedents." Zainey continued, "This court is very sympathetic to the plaintiffs for the loss of their loved ones, however, this court is prohibited from changing the laws that Congress has enacted. As such, the court lacks the authority to award money damages for the claims in which the plaintiffs are not legally entitled." The elderly woman's body, which contained a pacemaker and a feeding tube, gave out Sept. 1 as she and tens of thousands of others languished in the New Orleans heat with little or nothing in their hands. The courts combined the following lawsuits against the government with the Freeman claim: -- John J. DeLuca, 77, who rode out Katrina at an eastern New Orleans assisted-living home, died Sept. 3 after a helicopter rescue team took him from his home to Interstate 10 and Causeway Boulevard. DeLuca languished for three days before dying, court records said. -- Clementine Eleby, 79, paralyzed and bedridden in eastern New Orleans when the storm struck, died outside the Convention Center on Sept. 1 while waiting for help.
I'm so angry I am speechless.