Settlement reached in patient deaths after Katrina

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- A New Orleans judge has approved a $25 million settlement in a class-action lawsuit filed over the deaths of patients at a New Orleans hospital after Hurricane Katrina.

The deal was reached between Tenant Healthcare Corp., which operated the former Memorial Medical Center, and lawyers for patients and others at the hospital during and after the storm.

The settlement still requires formal approval by those eligible to take part in the deal, including patients, survivors of the dead and visitors at the hospital when Katrina struck.

The hospital lost power after the hurricane struck on Aug. 29, 2005, leaving patients suffering as temperatures soared. Authorities said 45 people died as rescuers fought floodwaters to reach the medical center in Uptown New Orleans.