Patient claims hospital dumped him at curb in his underwear

Published On: Dec 09 2011 06:03:27 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 09 2011 06:40:33 PM CST

Dec. 9, 2011: A Houston man files a complaint with a downtown hospital, but now says he is pushing for state regulators and independent investigators to get involved after he claims hospital staff dumped him at a curb in his underwear. Stephen Dean reports.

HOUSTON -

A Houston man has filed a complaint with a downtown hospital, but now says he is pushing for state regulators and independent investigators to get involved after he claims hospital staff dumped him at a curb in his underwear, Local 2 Investigates reported Friday.

"They hurt me deeply, man. They didn't have to hurt me like that. They didn't have to treat me like they did," said 59-year-old Warren Morgan, who has been struggling with kidney failure and diabetes.

His wife called 911 in October after he fell at his family's home, unable to walk.  He was rushed by ambulance to St. Joseph's Hospital in downtown Houston, but he filed a complaint with the hospital claiming he was physically removed and dumped on a nearby curb in his underwear because he had no insurance and was unable to pay.

"Told me you're going to get out of here one way or another and took my leg and slammed it up against the wall, you know, like she's trying to hurt me," said Morgan.

His family requested help from local activist Quanell X, who called the hospital's investigation of the matter "lukewarm."

He said, "(Morgan) was physically picked up and packed outside and set on the ground and pushed outside because he couldn't even walk and they set him down on the ground like a piece of garbage, a piece of trash. This is a human being."

The Morgan family and supporters gathered around him this afternoon outside the hospital, calling for an independent investigation.  

 "(The hospital has) conducted a lukewarm investigation and what we are asking is for the (Texas state) medical board to get involved and the board of directors of this hospital to get involved and bring an outside agency in to make sure that the investigation is thorough and is transparent," said Quanell X.

When Morgan filed a complaint with the hospital, he received a letter that he provided to reporters.  In that letter, St. Joseph's Patient Advocate Lori Dilworth wrote that a thorough investigation was done.  Her letter asserts that doctors decided he did not need to be admitted on that late October night.

The letter states that Morgan was physically removed for the safety of other patients because he was swearing and arguing with the decision to discharge him.

"That is not true. That is absolutely not true," Morgan responded to reporters.

Morgan said he was removed from a wheelchair on a nearby street corner and left at the curb in his underwear.

His wife, Sandra Morgan, said the hospital staff should have notified her that he was being discharged, or perhaps made arrangements to send him to a county hospital, where indigent patients are treated regardless of insurance.

She said, "I don't understand why they threw him out like that. They didn't have to do him like that."

A message left for the hospital's vice president over communications with the public and the media was not returned.

The family said they had not yet filed a complaint with the Texas Medical Board, which regulates doctors, but planned to do so in the future.

Morgan told reporters he is still in need of medical treatment, but is unsure where he will go to get help.

 

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