Dallas, Texas – Attorneys representing the family of former congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson have alleged medical negligence leading to her “terrible, painful death” and are planning to file a lawsuit. The family sent a pre-suit notice letter to Baylor Scott & White Health System and Baylor Scott & White Institute for Rehabilitation, notifying them of their intention to sue.
According to the attorney’s letter, Johnson underwent back surgery in September 2023 and was then sent to Baylor Scott & White Institute for Rehabilitation. The letter alleges that Johnson’s son, Kirk Johnson, found his mother lying in her own feces and urine at the rehab facility, with no response when she called for help. He discovered nurses and staff cleaning up the mess after seeking help from an administrator.
The attorney’s letter also mentioned that Johnson’s orthopedic surgeon noted post-operative complications and a subsequent infection that required surgical debridement. Laboratory reports from both Baylor Scott & White Institute for Rehabilitation and Medical City Heart and Spine confirmed the presence of organisms related to feces.
Johnson was moved to a skilled nursing facility in October before being taken home with hospice care in December. She passed away in her home on December 31, 2023, shortly after her 89th birthday.
The attorney representing the family expressed shock at the alleged negligence, criticizing the level of care provided by Baylor Scott & White Institute for Rehabilitation and stating that the nursing staff and management fell far below the standard of medical care expected.
Baylor Scott & White provided a statement, recognizing Johnson as a longtime friend and champion. They expressed their commitment to working with the family. Select Medical, the owner of the rehabilitation facility, declined to comment.
The cause of Johnson’s death, according to her death certificate, was listed as osteomyelitis of the lumbar spine, a type of infection. The attorney emphasized that the pre-suit notice provided an opportunity for the parties to resolve the claim before filing a lawsuit, expressing hope that a settlement could be reached.
Eddie Bernice Johnson, the first registered nurse elected to the U.S. Congress, retired in 2023 after serving 15 congressional terms. Memorials and services to honor and remember Johnson will be held in Dallas starting January 8, with a graveside service in Austin on January 10.
In conclusion, the family of former congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson plans to file a lawsuit against Baylor Scott & White Health System and Baylor Scott & White Institute for Rehabilitation, alleging medical negligence in her death. Johnson’s son discovered her in unsanitary conditions at the rehab facility. Laboratory reports confirmed the presence of organisms related to feces. The attorney representing the family hopes for a settlement before proceeding with the lawsuit. Eddie Bernice Johnson, a trailblazing congresswoman, will be remembered and honored in upcoming services.