The controversy over the proposed $1.2 billion LSU Hospital continues. One of the reasons LSU has not been able to move forward with the project is that they remain several hundred million dollars short of the necessary construction dollars. They have contended that the FEMA has offered an insufficient reimbursement for damage incurred at Charity Hospital during Hurricane Katrina. FEMA at first offered $23 million but has since increased their offer to $150 million. LSU has rejected this offer and Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security has convened a panel to help resolve the dispute.
Earlier today, FEMA and LSU received a copy of a legal intervention filed on behalf of plaintiffs in one pending case related to the decision to close Charity Hospital, including the uninsured citizens of New Orleans. The purpose of the intervention is to request that these stakeholders have a seat at the table and that the DHS panel is open and transparent to the public.
A link to the documents will greet you beyond the fold.
The intervention calls upon evidence that has come to light in the Leblanc case, a lawsuit filed in 2008 that contended that Charity Hospital was closed illegally since LSU shuttered the building without a majority vote from the Louisiana legislature.
The intervention outlines the contradictions between damage claimed by LSU and the testimony of doctors and national guardsman that helped scrub the hospital prior to closure in late 2005. Photographs obtained by SaveCharityHospital.com yesterday reflect the condition of the hospital just before doctors were forced to leave.
It also makes the case that dollars obtained for damage incurred at Charity Hospital should be dedicated to building a new facility at that site, one that would serve the interests of the uninsured, as mandated by laws governing the Charity system in Louisiana.