Family Sues Houston Hospital After Ants, Gnats Allegedly Found in Breathing Tube

Family Sues Houston Hospital After Ants, Gnats Allegedly Found in Breathing TubeTwo men have filed a lawsuit against a hospital in Houston, Texas, after allegedly recording video of ants and gnats crawling in their father's tracheotomy breathing tube, NBC affiliate KPRC Houston reports.

According to the media outlet, the two brothers filed the medical malpractice lawsuit against Select Specialty Hospital-Houston after showing the video to investigators with the news source.

"How my daddy was left in his last days, it wasn't good. It wasn't good," said Keith Simmons, a machinist from Houston.

Keith's father, Willie Lee Simmons, collapsed from lung disease in 2011, and after being treated by a separate hospital, was transferred to Select Specialty for rehabilitation. Simmons stated the conditions of his father's recovery room were deplorable, and included dirty bathrooms and food and papers on the floors.

"You shouldn't have any of that," he stated. The family hopes the video, which shows closeups of small insects in the tube, will be seen by a jury so that similar problems can be avoided in the future.

"It's a very hurtful feeling … overall, you just hurt," said Kirk Simmons, another son of the patient. The brothers allege the ants made their father more uncomfortable and perhaps worsened his condition if they were to crawl inside their father's throat.

The family's attorney stated that he had "never seen so much neglect by an actual hospital," after viewing the video. The taping also shows the family questioning medical workers on how ants could have made their way into the tube, to which they responded they had "no idea."

The brothers allege they asked that their father's room be cleaned up multiple times, as dead ants were also found on the rooms' pillow and bedding.

According to the Houston Chronicle, the lawsuit also alleges that the hospital's employees allowed severe bedsores to develop on the man's backside, in addition to the unkempt room.

The family is seeking actual and exemplary damages, as well as attorney's fees and court costs, requesting a total of $200,000 from the medical center. The lawsuit claims the patient's conditions were not properly monitored, standard medical care was not provided and that at one point the brothers found their father lying on the floor in his own feces, indicative of the hospital's failure to "maintain Mr. Simmons' room in a sanitary condition."