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Man Dies Waiting 8 Hours For Assistance at NYC Hospital ER

verrier, St. Barnabas, ER, Emergency room On Jan. 19 at 10 p.m. John Verrier, 30, went to the emergency room of  St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx, complaining of a rash. At 6:40 a.m. the next morning, a security guard found Verrier’s body slumped in a waiting room chair.

According to an internal investigation performed by the hospital, Verrier was checked on at least once, when a nurse assessed his vital signs. Waiting room video footage shows he was alive until 3:45 a.m. The hospital also claims that his name was called several times over the intercom.

St. Barnabas Hospital spokesperson Steve Clark tells CBS News, “Probably this scenario in this shape and form has happened in any big hospital in New York City.”

The cause of death for Verrier has yet to be determined, pending a medical examiner’s report.

Verrier’s family was notified, but they did not learn the details of his death until they saw a news report.

“No one should sit in the waiting room that long,” his mother, Susan Verrier, said to a television reporter. “I’m sorry, name- calling over the loud speaker proves nothing, nothing.”

The results of the internal investigation are that hospital staff had acted in accordance to protocol. But an anonymous emergency room employee has reportedly stated: “There’s no policy in place to check the waiting room to see if people waiting to be seen are still there or still alive. Based on number of people in the waiting room, it is impossible to check on each person physically.”

A Propublica report rates St. Barnabas’ wait time at the ER is 5 hours and 6 minutes, more than double the average wait time for ERs in New York.  According to the report, only 55 percent of the hospital’s patients would recommend it, which is lower than the New York average of 65 percent.

The New York State Department of Health is investigating the incident.

S.C. Rhyne is a blogger and novelist in New York City. Follow the author on twitter @ReporterandGirl or on and visit her website at

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