June 08, 2009 - Family: Hospital Inaction Caused Fatality

A 42-year-old man died of diabetic shock at a New York hospital after emergency room workers ignored him for seven hours, his family alleges.

Relatives of Todd Johnson allege in a lawsuit workers at Interfaith Hospital never gave the ailing man any medical treatment despite the fact he continued to lose consciousness, the New York Post said Monday.

"An African-American man, stinking of vomit, unshaved and speaking gibberish. I'm sure they thought he was just some bum and they stuck him somewhere to sleep it off," Johnson's brother, Todd, said of the March 2006 incident.

Health Department records show Johnson was never registered as a patient by hospital staff and never received medical treatment.

An attorney alleges the treatment given to Johnson, who did not know he had diabetes, by hospital staff was "appalling."

"He just needed to be rehydrated and given insulin," the attorney told the Post.

"If he had gotten that, this man would be alive today. What happened to him was appalling."

Specific details regarding the lawsuit were not reported.

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