On March 18, 2013, LeJuan Johnson died. The 24-year-old had HIV, but a lawsuit filed on behalf of his estate blames Mobile Infirmary, the city of Mobile, two security guards and five unnamed witnesses for the cause of his death. There is also allegedly video evidence, according to the court documents filed by Andy Citrin, the attorney for the estate .
The lawsuit, which was filed Oct. 24 in Mobile County Circuit Court, claims security guards Jerry Ripple and Shawn Poff “dumped” Johnson onto a sidewalk near Mobile Infirmary’s ER and left him there to die. Ripple is also a sergeant at the Mobile Police Department, which is why the city is also named in the suit.
On March 5, Johnson was brought to the ER by ambulance after suffering from “extreme weakness, altered mental status and nausea.”
The lawsuit claims Johnson was so weak that he could not take a single step on his own. However, the patient never received the treatment he sought, according to the lawsuit.
“Before any medical care was provided to LeJuan Johnson by any medical staff at the Mobile Infirmary, Ripple and Poff, while working at the direction of defendant Mobile Infirmary, wrongfully and without cause or justification, grabbed and then physically dragged a helpless Mr. Johnson from the emergency room by his armpits and then dropped him on the sidewalk immediately outside the ER,” the lawsuit complaint reads. “Ripple and Poff then put LeJuan Johnson in a Mobile Infirmary wheelchair and pushed him across the street adjacent to the ER.
“Ripple and Poff then dumped LeJuan Johnson onto the sidewalk of a side street in nothing more than a T-shirt and pajama bottoms.”
According to the complaint, Johnson, who was alone, was facedown on the concrete and motionless, and was left in temperatures that with the wind chill were in the mid-30s that night.
Johnson remained motionless on the concrete for more than four hours before a passerby found him.
The lawsuit states during this time, security personnel watched through a closed circuit security camera as Johnson developed hypothermia and other medical problems.
“The defendants’ conduct of physically removing and then dumping the decedent on the sidewalk in the near freezing temperature and thereafter failing to take action to notify authorities that LeJuan Johnson was lying in the cold on the sidewalk, combined with Mr. Johnson’s underlying illness, ultimately caused Mr. Johnson’s death on March 18, 2013,” the complaint reads.
A hearing hasn’t been scheduled as of press time. However, the matter has been assigned to Judge Michael Youngpeter.
Calls to Citrin and Mobile Infirmary were not immediately returned.