According to the New York Times The New Katrina Flood: Hospital Liability, more than 100 patients died in New Orleans hospitals and nursing homes in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, when the facilities' power systems failed.
Some 200 lawsuits have been brought in Louisiana alleging that the hospitals or nursing homes had inadequate emergency power systems, failed to have a plan for evacuation of patients, or flood water protection.
A wrongful death claim was made by the family of a 73 year-old woman who was hospitalized and on a respirator when flooding from Katrina cut the power off. Without an emergency power source, hospital personnel had to hand pump air into her lungs, in the dark and in sweltering heat.
In this case, the owner of the hospital was aware that it might be vulnerable to hurricane flooding, but for budget concerns, did not safeguard the power for the facility. In pleadings, they claim that Katrina was an "Act of God", for which they are not responsible.
A jury in Louisiana will decide the issue.