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Attorney Claims Medical Negligence Caused Death of Former US Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson

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Eddie Bernice Johnson
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The family of the late former U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson revealed last Thursday that the pioneering Texas congresswoman, who died at the age of 89, succumbed to an infection. They further accused a Dallas rehabilitation facility of neglect in her care.

Eddie Bernice Johnson, the first registered nurse elected to Congress, passed away at her Dallas home on December 31. Les Weisbrod, her family’s attorney and longtime friend, revealed at a news conference that an infection in her spine caused her death. 

This infection reportedly developed after she was left in her feces at Baylor Scott & White Institute for Rehabilitation following back surgery.

Attorney Les Weisbrod has notified Baylor Scott & White Health System and Baylor Scott & White Institute for Rehabilitation regarding a planned lawsuit. The lawsuit will allege medical negligence in connection with the death of the former U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson.

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Baylor Scott & White Health released a statement referring to Eddie Bernice Johnson as “an inspiration to all.” Les Weisbrod stated that Eddie Bernice Johnson had requested him to pursue the case weeks ago, focusing on the pain, additional procedures, and medical bills resulting from complications.

Initially, Weisbrod anticipated the case would be about Johnson’s recovery, making it distressing for him that she ultimately succumbed to the infection. Her son discovered her lying in her feces and urine at the rehabilitation facility on September 21, as per a news release from Weisbrod’s office.

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Kirk Johnson, her son, mentioned during a news conference that he rushed to the facility after his mother reported receiving no response from the call button, arriving about 10 minutes later.

“Deplorable,” he said. “She was being unattended to. She was screaming out in pain and for help.” In response to finding no nurses on the floor, Kirk Johnson went to the administration office, and the CEO accompanied him to his mother’s room, according to the news release. Upon arrival, staff members were in the process of cleaning up the feces.

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After undergoing a surgical repair on the infected wound, Eddie Bernice Johnson was transferred to a skilled nursing facility on October 18. Later, in mid-December, she returned home under hospice care, as stated in the news release.

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According to the news release, laboratory wound culture reports revealed organisms directly related to feces. Eddie Bernice Johnson, who served in the House for three decades, left office last January after repeatedly delaying her retirement.

She was the first Black chief psychiatric nurse at Dallas Veterans Affairs Hospital. She became the first Black woman to chair the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, leading the Congressional Black Caucus.

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