HOUSTON, TX - Dollars or death? That's the ultimatum a local hospital allegedly offered up when a Houston man came in suffering a severe allergic reaction.
"When you have an allergic reaction, all you need is a little EpiPen and that can stop the problem and save lives," says Houston attorney Domingo Garcia.
Instead of treating Baldomero Flores, Jr. immediately, the staff at Doctors Hospital Tidwell is accused of delaying his screening until he provided payment and insurance. Flores died before that could happen and now his family is suing the hospital.
"They spent almost 40 to 50 minutes talking to his girlfriend about how he was going to pay for his emergency medical care as he lay shaking, defecating on himself, urinating on himself, vomiting," says attorney Lee Weisbrod.
The family's attorneys also say the staff's actions are a direct violation of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act," which requires hospitals to treat patients regardless of whether they can pay.
"We were horribly treated at this hospital," says Flores' girlfriend, Melisandra DeLeon.
The hospital hasn't responded to the allegations, but if they're true, Flores didn't die from anaphylaxis; instead, he possibly died as a result of a hospital's greed.