Sunday, September 03, 2006

Katrina Rescuer Sued by Asshole

A lot of people called Mark Morice a hero. John M. Lyons Jr. calls him a defendant. Morice commandeered Lyons' boat during the flooding that followed Hurricane Katrina and said he rescued more than 200 people.
Disasters bring out the best in people, and the worst in people. Mark Morice did what anyone with a sense of decency would do...he helped people after Katrina in any way he could. Boat owner, John M. Lyons, Jr., out of harm's way during the storm, has shown a year later that some people have no ethics, morals, kindness or sense of decency. He's disgusting scum. He's an avaricious bastard. If he wants to sue someone, he should sue his insurance company for only paying half the value of his precious boat, not a man who used it to save lives. Morice also lost a boat. Lyons accuses Morice of stealing his boat "solely to promote himself and his law practice." Unbelievable projection, Mr. Lyons. To "promote" himself? Good god, has he no conscience whatsoever? Lyons suit claims he endured "grief, mental anguish, embarrassment and suffering...due to the removal of the boat"...how would he like to explain that suffering to those who lost family members and everything they owned. I hope the embarrassment, mental anguish and grief Mr. Lyons NOW suffers as a result of his petty small minded lawsuit keeps him awake at night for years to come. He should be featured on Olbermann's worst person in the world segment. He deserves it.

Katrina Rescuer Sued By Boat Owner
E. Ronald Mills, Lyons' lawyer, who filed the suit in 24th Judicial District Court in Jefferson Parish earlier this month, on Friday accused Morice of "hubris."
Reacting to the suit, Morice and his attorney, Joseph A. Marino III, displayed photographs and showed video Morice took,(Boatman of Broadmoor) which showed desperate high-water scenes accompanied by a bone-chilling soundtrack of screams and pounding, apparently from people trapped inside attics.

Lyons' boat, an 18-foot, 1998 model 180 Sea Sport, was one of three Morice said he commandeered after water started rising. Morice said one of the other boat owners told him he was glad Morice had been able to hot-wire his boat - Morice said he actually got instructions on how to do it from Yamaha customer service-- and the other boat owner apparently has not complained.

...
Photo courtesy of Mark Morice
A boatload of Hurricane Katrina victims is rescued by boat in the Broadmoor area of New Orleans.

--->


Rescuer Sued
Katrina rescuer is sued by boat owner
He took craft and never brought it back
Saturday, August 26, 2006
By Steve Ritea
A Broadmoor man who said he rescued more than 200 residents after commandeering a boat during the flood after Hurricane Katrina is being sued by the boat's owner for taking it "without receiving permission."

Mark Morice, who by the Wednesday after the storm said he "couldn't get more than a block or two without people screaming to me for help," took the boat "out of necessity. . . . I did it for my neighbors."

Among them was Irving Gordon, a 93-year-old dialysis patient who Morice carried from his flooded home, placed in the boat and rescued from distress. "I don't know where we would be today if it weren't for him," Molly Gordon, Gordon's wife of 65 years, said Friday.

The lawsuit contends that boat owner John M. Lyons Jr. suffered his own distress, in the form of "grief, mental anguish, embarrassment and suffering . . . due to the removal of the boat," as well as its replacement costs. E. Ronald Mills, Lyons' Metairie lawyer, who filed the suit in 24th Judicial District Court in Jefferson Parish earlier this month, on Friday accused Morice of "hubris." Morice made no attempt to return the boat, Mills said, and it remains missing.

'Living in fear'

The Friday after the storm, Morice said, he left the city briefly to recover from a week of trolling the city's streets, "living in fear and sleeping with a shotgun." That day, after delivering 15 people to dry ground on Claiborne Avenue near the Orleans-Jefferson parish line, Morice said he parked the boat there and left it for other rescuers to use. Given the sum-of-all-fears atmosphere at the time, returning the boat "was the farthest thing from my mind," he said.

Molly Gordon said she was baffled by the lawsuit."This man should be so grateful he had a boat that saved lives," she said. During a news conference at his Napoleon Avenue home Friday, Morice and his attorney, Joseph A. Marino III, displayed photographs and showed video Morice took in the neighborhood, which showed desperate high-water scenes accompanied by a bone-chilling soundtrack of screams and pounding, apparently from people trapped inside attics.

Lyons' boat, an 18-foot, 1998-model 180 Sea Sport, was one of three Morice said he commandeered after water started rising in the neighborhood. Morice said one of the other boat owners told him he was glad Morice had been able to hot-wire his boat -- Morice said he actually got instructions on how to do it from Yamaha customer service -- and the other boat owner apparently has not complained.

Morice did try to borrow a boat the old-fashioned way. But because cellular phone service was out, Morice, a lawyer, said he began text-messaging several friends Tuesday asking if they had boats he could borrow.

But all the boats his friends suggested either sank or already had been put to use, Morice said. On State Street Drive, however, he noticed two boats that appeared usable and used bolt cutters to cut gate locks and check them out. Morice said he took Lyons' because the keys were in the ignition. He said he didn't know who owned it.

Morice used the boat to deliver Molly and Irving Gordon to nearby Memorial Medical Center on Wednesday, they said. The next day, as a nightmarish scene inside the dark, humid hospital was finally ending, Morice was one of 10 boaters who helped evacuate the last patients out of Memorial, he and the Gordons said, dropping them on dry ground at St. Charles Avenue.

Morice used gas siphoned from cars on the upper floors of Memorial's parking garage to power the boats he and several friends used in rescue missions that week.

Sometime in September or October, Morice returned to the home on State Street Drive and spoke to Lyons' wife, he said, explaining why he had taken their boat. He later e-mailed the Lyons a picture of him using the boat to rescue people.

In January, he received a letter from Mills noting that the Lyons had received less than half the replacement value of the boat and its motor from their insurance. The letter asked Morice for $12,000 to "settle this matter." Morice said he thought the letter was "a joke" and paid little attention to it until this month, when the lawsuit was filed.

The lawsuit accuses Morice of taking the boat "solely to promote himself and his law practice." Although he appeared in several newspapers in the storm's aftermath, Morice said he never sought the publicity.

Mills said Morice could have been more responsible when he took the Lyons' boat. "If I felt I had to take the boat I would have at least left a note," Mills said.
Morice's reaction? "Next time there's a major storm or natural disaster and I'm called to save lives, I'll try to remember to bring a pen and paper," he said.


If Mr. Mills' fees are more than half the cost of the boat, one wonders what Mr. Lyons hoped to gain from such a vindictive lawsuit, other than notoriety.

E. Ronald Mills
Address: Suite 215
2901 Ridgelake Dr
Metairie, LA 70002-4946
Phone: (504) 835-9829
Fax: (504) 835-9829
Mills, E. Ronald
West Practice Categories:
Criminal Law

7 Comments:

Anonymous Asta said...

Here's a bit of irony. BartCop issue on August 9, Vol. 1815 linked to your site and used one of your photoshop images of Condi the Snake-Tongued.

Did you know?

1:10 PM  
Blogger Panda said...

He emailed for permission ex post facto and I gave it. He wasn't the issue for me. "Others" were. Back then they were clearly a separate entity and a law unto themselves. I doubt he ever knew what went down. I agree with you, the irony is interesting, eh? Karma.

3:33 PM  
Anonymous Asta/Cyrano said...

Someone you once communicated with, a former co-worker but still friend of mine, wants very much to atone for her trespasses.

7:09 PM  
Blogger Panda said...

I can be reached at gahzette@gmail.com

7:27 PM  
Anonymous Asta said...

I will relay the info. I hope for the best.

7:56 PM  
Blogger Big Daddy Malcontent said...

I wonder what political party Mr. Lyons belongs to. Prolly the Green Party...haha get it? Green Party? Oh, that's rich.

5:18 PM  
Blogger Panda said...

Heh heh...got it. Rich, indeed.

3:10 AM  

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