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Nursing home negligence alleged in death of former U.S. Rep.

On Behalf of | Jan 22, 2024 | Nursing Home Injuries

Nursing home accidents rarely make headlines outside of the state where the victim lives or the nursing home is located. However, a recent episode of nursing home staff neglect in Dallas produced such clear evidence of negligence that the case is likely to spark interest in most other states, including Maryland.

The victim was former United States representative from Texas, Eddie Bernice Johnson. The representative’s attorney said at a news conference that she developed an infection after spinal surgery and died from the effects of the infection.

The incident

On Sept. 21, 2023, Ms. Johnson’s son received a telephone call from his mother in the nursing home. She told him that she was experiencing severe pain and was getting no response from attendants at the nursing home. Mr. Johnson drove to the nursing home and found his mother lying in a pool of her own feces and urine.

Mr. Johnson could find no nurses on the floor where his mother was being treated. He then went to the office of the nursing home administrator. When the two returned to his mother’s room, they found staff members who were busy cleaning up the feces and urine.

The surgeon who performed the original surgery placed a note in Ms. Johnson’s records that stated that she was receiving no treatment despite the fact that she was screaming in pain and asking for help. The surgeon then performed a surgical repair of the infected wound. Ms. Johnson was moved to a skilled nursing facility and sent home for hospice care in mid-December. A laboratory analysis of the feces and urine in Ms. Johnson’s bed found organisms directly linked to human feces.

Rep. Johnson died on December 31.

The lawsuit

Rep. Johnson’s family said that they were going to commence a lawsuit against Baylor, Scott & White Institute for Rehabilitation and Baylor, Scott & White Health System based upon the negligence of the nursing home staff.

Based upon facts reported in the local media, the Johnson family appears to have a strong case for wrongful death based upon the negligence of the nursing home staff. The only question is proving causation. The Johnson family must produce one or more expert physicians who will testify that Ms. Johnson’s death was caused by the infection that resulted from her exposure to urine and feces while in the nursing home.