NEW YORK – The family of esteemed '50s songwriter Julius Dixson has filed a lawsuit against a NYC hospital charging the elderly man died of starvation after the hospital lost his dentures.
On January 16, 2004, the songwriter was taken to St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital in Manhattan after breaking a bone in his hip, the New York Post reported.
Dixson is best known for co-writing '50s hits like "Lollipop," recorded by the Chordettes.
Even though he was 90 years old, doctors decided he was healthy enough to undergo surgery, but before the procedure, a staff member removed his dentures.
After surgery, the dentures could not be found, and Dixson never got replacement teeth.
According to Julius Dixson Jr., in the two weeks after surgery his father was fed food that needed to be chewed.
He said he told the staff that his father was losing weight and was dehydrated. But they downplayed the concerns, Dixson Jr. recalled.
The son said his father's health quickly deteriorated, and he wasn't put on a feeding tube until January 29, 2004 — the day before he died.
Dixson Jr. said his father told him, "If I die in here, you go after them."
The autopsy showed that Dixson died from "metabolic complications of weight loss and dehydration."
A spokeman for the hospital extended condolences for the death, but said the treatment "was completely appropriate."
Mitchel Ashley, an attorney for the family, disagrees.
Julius Dixson Sr. "was wasting away in their hospital, and, essentially, they did nothing to stop that," said Ashley.
The lawsuit claims negligence. It was filed against the hospital and two doctors, maintaining that even with his advanced age, Dixson Sr. needn't have died.