Alleged Medical Negligence Led To Death Of Ex-Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, Lawyer Claims

Image not from story (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP) (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Mariane Angela Contributor
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Retired Democratic Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson died from an infection linked to alleged medical negligence, the family’s attorney claimed Thursday.

The 89-year-old former representative passed away Dec. 31 at her Dallas home. Les Weisbrod, representing the family and a longtime friend of Johnson, announced the intention to file a lawsuit against Baylor Scott & White Institute for Rehabilitation, The Associated Press (AP) reported. This facility is allegedly where Johnson received substandard care after her back surgery. Weisbrod explained that Johnson developed a spinal infection following an incident where she was allegedly left in her feces at the facility.

The family’s grievance highlights an event Sept. 21, as noted by the outlet, when Johnson’s son, Kirk, found her lying in her own waste after she received no response to calls for help. The administration’s alleged lack of immediate attention led to a critical delay in care, Kirk recounted at a news conference, describing the situation as “deplorable.”

“She was being unattended to. She was screaming out in pain and for help,” Kirk said, according to The AP.

Weisbrod shared that Johnson had entrusted him with the legal case following complications from the infection. Despite initially expecting a recovery, the severity of the situation led to a tragic outcome, The AP reported.

Baylor Scott & White Health honored Johnson as “an inspiration to all” and expressed commitment to resolving the matter with the family and attorney. The health system is yet to make a statement regarding the allegations, The AP reported. (RELATED: Retired Dem Rep Eddie Bernice Johnson Dies At 88)

Johnson’s medical records, as detailed by the outlet, showed complications arising after the operation. Her orthopedic surgeon documented the development of purulent drainage from her lumbar incision, a common sign of infection. Laboratory reports identified organisms in the wound directly related to fecal matter, the outlet cited.

Johnson’s career included becoming the first Black chief psychiatric nurse at Dallas’ Veterans Affairs hospital and leading roles in the Congressional Black Caucus and the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, according to The AP.