As previously reported on this Blog here, Brandon Johnson died at the Milwaukee County Health Complex on October 6, 2012 due to complications from a broken neck. For the three days that Mr. Johnson was at the Complex, he complained to staff of paralysis and a lack of feeling in his legs. Despite his complaints, Complex staff failed to discover Mr. Johnson’s broken neck and thought he was faking his paralysis.
In early March 2013, an open-court John Doe hearing was conducted into the death of Brandon Johnson. Initially, Milwaukee County Assistant District Attorney Mark Williams, who conducted the John Doe, did not seek the testimony of Mr. Johnson’s roommate at the Complex, Frederick Williams. After Samster, Konkel & Safran, S.C. Attorney Jonathan S. Safran, who represents Mr. Johnson’s parents, recommended that the roommate testify, Assistant District Attorney Williams agreed.
On Thursday, April 4, 2013, the roommate testified regarding his knowledge of the circumstances surrounding the death of Brandon Johnson. According to the roommate, although he never observed Mr. Johnson walk, staff at the Complex did not believe Mr. Johnson’s complaints of paralysis. For example, on the morning that Mr. Johnson died, a nurse at the Complex refused to pick up Mr. Johnson’s blanket after it fell on the floor, telling Mr. Johnson that he could pick it up himself. Staff also refused Mr. Johnson’s request to be moved from a geriatric chair to a bed, complaining that Mr. Johnson was too heavy. The roommate did not know how Mr. Johnson suffered the broken neck at the Complex, but he never heard anyone discuss that Mr. Johnson jumped or fell from a bed, as others have suggested. To read more about the roommate’s testimony, please see the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel here.
The family of Brandon Johnson must now wait to see if Assistant District Attorney Williams is going to bring any criminal charges against Complex staff for Mr. Johnson’s death. The civil rights lawyers of Samster, Konkel & Safran, S.C. will continue to monitor the investigation. Our team of wrongful death attorneys will do our best to ensure that there is justice and accountability for the death of Brandon Johnson.