A U.S. military veteran says he plans to file a civil lawsuit against Grady Hospital in Atlanta for the treatment he received when he went to the emergency room earlier this year.
Bryan Jones says Grady security officers punched and kicked him after demanding that he get up off a stretcher during his Jan. 2, 2014 visit. Jones was arrested by the Atlanta Police Department at the direction of Grady security for breach of the peace and for “acting like he couldn’t walk,” attorneys for Jones said.
When he was released from jail, Jones was transported to the Veterans Affairs Hospital where he became the first documented Georgian in 2014 with the H1N1 virus (swine flu).
The veteran, who lives in Southwest Atlanta, was transported to Grady by ambulance after suffering from flu like symptoms for several days at home. After arriving at Grady on a stretcher, Jones had difficulty breathing and was too weak to stand, the Davis Bozeman Law Firm said.
“Mr. Jones attempted to explain to Grady Security that he was extremely weak and was having difficulty standing and walking. Grady security became increasingly aggressive and then physically forced him out of the hospital,” said Jones attorneys.
Grady disagreed with the account of what happened.
“Our internal investigation results differ significantly from what Mr. Jones claims. Our findings show that he exhibited aggressive behavior in our Emergency Department waiting room that required action by Grady Public Safety to maintain the safety of other patients and the Emergency Department staff,” Denise Simpson, media relations manager, said in a statement. “Grady’s Public Safety Officers assist thousands of patients and visitors every day without incident. We continue to be disappointed with Mr. Jones’ allegations because they are not consistent with our policies and practices here at Grady.”
Jones maintains he was mistreated.
“It was a scary experience to need help while I was so seriously ill only to be assaulted and imprisoned. My greatest fear was not only my health but the health of everyone in the emergency room and jail,” Jones said.
Charges against Jones were dismissed in Atlanta Municipal Court on Aug. 26 after witnesses for Grady failed to appear in court.
Attorney Tawanna Morgan of the Davis Bozeman Law Firm made several attempts to obtain the hospital’s video recordings to see footage of what happened to Jones for the court hearing. However, Grady officials said the hospital’s cameras weren’t working that night.
Supporters for Jones have started an online petition at change.org, calling on Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed to take action. More than 2,000 signatures have been collected.
“We are seeking justice restored where there was an insult done,” petition organizer Tausha Tate said in an online post.