Wednesday, October 21, 2009
The Louisiana State University System and its Board of Supervisors have authority over Louisiana's system of hospitals for the uninsured, and after Hurricane Katrina the LSU System closed Charity Hospital. Seven patients challenged the closing of the hospital, arguing that consent of the Legislature is required to close a hospital in Louisiana. For nearly a year, the argument has been about venue - should the case be heard in East Baton Rouge Parish, the home of the LSU System, or in Orleans parish, where the plaintiffs live. The trial court and appellate court had both denied LSU's motion to move the venue, but the Louisiana Supreme Court has now agreed that the case should be heard in East Baton Rouge Parish, because that is the proper venue for a suit against a state agency. The case will now proceed on its merits, and the LSU System will continue work on a new academic medical complex to be built near the shuttered hospital. The New Orleans Times Picayune reported this story.