A homeless man is suing a shelter that allegedly threw out his dentures while he was in the hospital. The dentures, along with his eyeglasses and some other personal possessions was located in a duffel bag that he claims the shelter had agreed to hold while the man was being treated in the hospital.

A bottom denture

Unable to Work Due to Bone Disease

Leo Johnson is a 57-year-old man who had made his living as a carpenter in younger years. Although he sometimes trades work for food or money, he is usually unable to work for long because of his condition.

Being unable to work is hard for Johnson, who was accustomed to being self-reliant. As a result, he experiences serious bouts of depression. And it was during one of these bouts that Johnson lost his dentures and other possessions. Johnson had been taken to a hospital because he was experiencing suicidal thoughts. All his possessions were left in a duffel bag at the shelter, and, Johnson claims, he had called the shelter to make sure they would hold his belongings until his treatment was complete.

But when he returned he found that his belongings had been thrown out. According to a spokesperson for the Volunteers of America (VOA), which runs the shelter, the problem is that space in the shelter is limited and that more homeless people want to leave their property there than can always be accommodated.

For his part, Johnson is alleging that VOA violated his 4th Amendment (security of person and property) and 14th Amendment (equal protection) rights.

Why Wasn’t Johnson Wearing His Dentures?

Of course, one might ask why Johnson didn’t simply take his dentures with him to the hospital. Notwithstanding the potential for lost dentures at the hospital, Johnson explained that he didn’t wear the dentures because they didn’t fit him. Like many economy dentures, these dentures had a poor fit, and it was often easier to do without. He’s hoping now to get new dentures if he succeeds in his lawsuit.

Johnson is caught in the same situation as many people who depend on Medicare for their dentures. The economy dentures he was supplied with don’t fit properly so he doesn’t wear them. When the dentures get lost, broken, or, as in this case, thrown out, he found out that Medicare doesn’t recover replacement dentures until after a certain time period. So Johnson will either have to live without dentures, unless he can win this lawsuit.

Although most of us can only sympathize with Johnson’s situation and wish him luck, we can also take this as a reminder that those of us who have the option should not voluntarily choose economy dentures that we would rather take out than wear.

If you are looking for quality dentures in Columbia, SC, please call (803) 674-4944  for an appointment with a denture dentist at Smile Columbia Dentistry.