WASHINGTON – The family of a veteran New York Times reporter who was beaten to death by muggers filed a $20 million lawsuit Monday against city and hospital officials, claiming their negligence contributed to his death.
David Rosenbaum, 63, was attacked with a heavy plastic pipe Jan. 6 during an evening stroll in his Northwest Washington neighborhood. Percey Jordan Jr., 42, was convicted of murder. His cousin, 24-year-old Michael Hamlin, pleaded guilty to murder.
Emergency workers initially believed that Rosenbaum was drunk, and they did not try to determine whether he was injured, according to a report from city investigators. An ambulance bypassed the closest hospital and took Rosenbaum to Howard University Hospital, nearly two miles out of the way. Nurses there incorrectly classified him as intoxicated and failed to regularly check his vital signs, the report said.
The hospital's neurological team did not evaluate Rosenbaum until 2 a.m. Jan. 7, nearly four hours after he arrived, according to the lawsuit filed by Rosenbaum's children, Dorothy and Daniel. It was almost 6 a.m. when he was taken to the operating room, the lawsuit said. He died the following day.
Rosenbaum's family also accused police of failing to investigate a similar attack by Jordan a month and a half before the assault on Rosenbaum.
After the city investigation, an emergency medical technician was fired for failing to follow proper procedures.
An attorney for the city had no comment. A Howard University spokeswoman did not immediately return calls.