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Attorney: Medical negligence caused death of former Texas US Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson
Jan 04

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DALLAS (AP) __ The family of former U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson said Thursday that the trailblazing Texas congresswoman, who died over the weekend at age 89, passed away after getting an infection and accused a Dallas rehabilitation facility of neglect.

Johnson, who was the first registered nurse elected to Congress, died on Dec. 31 at her Dallas home. Les Weisbrod, her family's attorney and Johnson`s longtime friend, said at a news conference that her death was caused by an infection in her spine that developed after she was left in her own feces at Baylor Scott & White Institute for Rehabilitation following back surgery.

Weisbrod said he has given notice to Baylor Scott & White Health System and Baylor Scott & White Institute for Rehabilitation that the family intends to file a lawsuit for medical negligence over her death.

In a statement Thursday, Baylor Scott & White Health called Johnson "an inspiration to all," and said they are committed to working with her family and attorney.

Weisbrod said it's a case that Johnson herself had asked him to pursue weeks ago after she began suffering from complications from the infection.

"I thought it was going to be a case for the pain that she went through and the additional procedures she went through and the medical bills and that she was going to recover,`` he said. "And so it's very distressing for me that she succumbed to this."

On Sept. 21, her son found her lying in her own feces and urine at the rehabilitation facility, according to a news release from Weisbrod`s office. Kirk Johnson said at the news conference Thursday that he had gone to the facility after his mother called to tell him she was getting no response from the call button. By The Associated Press, Copyright 2023