After Coney Island Hospital Patient’s Death, 3 Officials to Leave Posts

March 5, 2016 Updated: March 5, 2016
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Three top hospital officials in New York have been ousted after a patient died due to what her family and lawyer said was poor care.

Acting Executive ­Director Robert Hughes, Medical Director Dr. John Maese, and Chief Nursing Officer Terry Mancher were let go from New York City Health and Hospitals, which runs many of the city’s hospitals.

They treated her like a psych patient.

The shake-up came just one month after the Feb. 1 death of Grisel Soto at Coney Island Hospital. The 47-year-old died in the emergency room after nursing staff allegedly misdiagnosed her as suffering from an overdose of synthetic marijuana.

“They treated her like a psych patient,” a source told the New York Post.

Robert Hughes. (HHC)
Robert Hughes. (HHC)

Soto was “considered emotionally disturbed and was shackled to her bed,” family members told the New York Times.

The Medical Examiner’s Office says Soto’s autopsy results aren’t ready yet.

As Soto’s family threatens to sue the city, the three top officials were fired.

The department claimed the firings weren’t related to the death, instead noting that a review of the hospital found that the officials had hired 450 employees without HHC approval, and will be $65 million “in the red” by the end of this fiscal year.

“This hospital has been screwed up for decades,” a source told the Post. “They try to clean it up, but it’s still messed up … Now there’s a hiring freeze because they hired all those people.”

Problems include overcrowding and insect infestations.

Soto’s family said she likely had meningitis, which went misdiagnosed. If she were treated properly, she would still be alive, a relative told reporters on Friday.