Having a parent in an assisted living arrangement is hard for the entire family. It is difficult for the parent who may not be able to interact with their family as often as they would like, and it is also difficult for the children who worry whether their parent is being taken care of in a way that respects their parent’s dignity. However, in the case of two brothers in Houston, Texas, the facility that was charged with the care of their father failed to ensure that he was cared for properly.
According to the Chron.com, two brothers were visiting their sick father at a west Houston hospital last year when they noticed ants and gnats crawling through a trachea tube and into his larynx, according to a medical malpractice and negligence civil lawsuit filed in Harris County District Court.
As reported by Chron.com, the two brothers were visiting their father, Willie Lee Simmons, 69, who was being treated at Select Specialty Hospital-Houston West for severe respiratory problems before he died last year, said Derek Deyon, an attorney representing the man’s estate. The family alleges that workers at the hospital were negligent when they allowed insects to crawl into the tube, among other instances of negligence, he said. The lawsuit was filed January 12, 2012.
According to a spokesman for Select Medical, which owns the facility, the company had not been served with a lawsuit, and the spokesman went on to say that “the allegation of negligence is simply not true.” The spokesman, Edwin Bodensiek, defended the facility by stating “They keep their rooms and their equipment clean and sanitary. We would take complaints extremely seriously and we act immediately to correct them and that was done in this case.”
Select Medical, the defendant in the law suit filed by Simmons’ family and his estate, operates 110 long-term acute care hospitals and 952 outpatient rehabilitation clinics nationwide. And, according to Bodensiek “[Select Medical is] obsessed with quality and I would say our patients’ well-being is our top priority.”
Regardless of Select Medical’s claims that their number one priority is with cleanliness and maintaining sanitary conditions, one fact still remains, Mr. Simmon’s suffered through a horrible indignity, and his two sons were witness to it. According to Deyon, the family’s attorney, the sons, Keith Simmons and Kirk Simmons, have video of insects crawling through the tube. With this fact remaining, it is likely that Select Medical will have to put forth evidence of some extraordinary circumstances in order to scape liability for medical negligence.
As a Georgia Attorney who practices in the area of Medical Malpractice, I understand exactly what standard medical facilities are held to, and it seems as if Select Medical has sadly failed to live up to these standards. It is my sincere desire that Ms. Simmons, his estate, and his family received the compensation that they deserve as a result of this terrible injustice.