Federal judge dismisses Katrina wrongful death claims Katerina Ossenova at 10:38 AM ET
[JURIST] US District Judge Jay Zainey has dismissed part of a wrongful death lawsuit filed by families whose relatives died during Hurricane Katrina [JURIST news archive]. The son of Ethel Mayo Freeman sued the federal government, including former FEMA director Michael Brown [Wikipedia profile] and Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff [official profile], for his mother's death. Wheelchair-bound Freeman died while waiting outside the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center for help. Zainey noted that the government has publicly admitted to the many mistakes it made before and after Hurricane Katrina but it would be pure speculation to decide whether those mistakes caused these deaths.
Though most claims were dismissed by the judge, the families still intend to pursue claims left standing. AP has more. The New Orleans Times-Picayune has local coverage.
Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible, ad-free format.