Two brothers in Texas were visiting their sick father at a Houston hospital last year when they noticed ants and gnats crawling through a trachea tube and into his larynx.

They have now files a civil lawsuit filed in Harris County District Court.

The pair was visiting Willie Lee Simmons, 69, who was being treated at Select Specialty Hospital-Houston West for severe respiratory problems before he died last year, said Derek Deyon, an attorney representing the man’s estate.

The family alleges that workers at the hospital were negligent when they allowed insects to crawl into the tube, among other instances of negligence, he said. The lawsuit was filed Jan. 12.

A spokesman for Select Medical, which owns the facility, said the company had not been served with a lawsuit but said “the allegation of negligence is simply not true.”

“They keep their rooms and their equipment clean and sanitary,” said spokesman Edwin Bodensiek. “We would take complaints extremely seriously and we act immediately to correct them and that was done in this case.”

Select Medical operates 110 long-term acute care hospitals and 952 outpatient rehabilitation clinics nationwide.

“We’re obsessed with quality and I would say our patients’ well-being is our top priority,” Bodensiek said.

Deyon said the sons – Keith Simmons and Kirk Simmons – have video of insects crawling through the tube.

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