Islandistas, you remember Esmin Green, don’t you?
Please don’t forget her. Esmin Green is a potent symbol of what can happen when society is too cynical and too absorbed to notice people.
Esmin Green was the Jamaican-born former teacher-turned-New York City-housekeeper who died on the floor of King’s County Hospital in Brooklyn. She had been waiting for care for over 24 hours when she fell from her chair and thrashed in distress on the floor for a long while and even tried to get back on her chair. But no-one came to her aid, even though several passed her by and she lay on the floor for an hour before a nurse realised she was dead.
The story provoked outrage and Green’s family rightly sued.
Now her family has received some… but still only some belated justice for Ms.Green. Yesterday, New York City accepted full responsibility for her death and have agreed to pay her family US$2 million for her wrongful death.
However, that is not nor should it be the end. This is not a settlement. Ms. Green’s family has made that very clear, with their lawyer Sanford Rubenstein saying:
“What remains most important to this family is the criminal culpability for those responsible for what happened and those who attempted to cover it up, which continues, after all this time, to remain under investigation by the New York City Department of Investigation. In no way does this settlement affect that investigation, and the family remains adamant in its demands that anyone who committed a criminal act with regard to the death of Esmin Green or the attempt to cover it up be prosecuted criminally to the full extent of the law.”
We still await true justice for Esmin Green.