EMT Malpractice Settlement: $1 Million

2012 Medical Malpractice Trial Report

48-year-old man dies from massive heart attack after EMT-Paramedics force him to walk down stairs to ambulance during heart attack

See related news article on this case:
Paramedics accused of lying in Worcester death
State cites UMass Memorial EMS

Other recent EMT-related case:
EMT Negligence Lawsuit Settles for $1 Million
EMT’s determination of viability of patient is beyond scope of practice in negligence case involving death of preterm baby

The plaintiff’s decedent was a 48-year-old man who died on 5/11/08 from a massive heart attack. The defendant EMT-Paramedics were the emergency response team who responded to a 911 at the home of the plaintiff’s decedent. When the defendants arrived, the plaintiff’s decedent was experiencing a myocardial infarction (heart attack). Despite his obvious cardiac distress, the defendants did not treat him on the scene but, instead, they walked the decedent down three flights of stairs to an awaiting ambulance. The plaintiff claimed that the defendants improperly made the patient exert himself during a cardiac emergency and failed to utilize a non-exertional form of extrication, such as a stair chair, board, or stretcher. The plaintiff’s decedent suffered a cardiac arrest shortly after arriving to the hospital before any interventional measures could be attempted.

The plaintiff’s experts were prepared to testify that the defendants entered the home of the decedent without the appropriate emergency response equipment to render adequate treatment and that requiring the decedent to walk down the stairs to the ambulance caused an exacerbation of his ongoing heart attack. The experts were further prepared to testify that had the decedent been carried down the stairs, his ongoing heart damage would not have been worsened by exertion, and, more likely than not, the decedent would have survived his heart attack.

The defendants were prepared to testify that they assisted the decedent down the stairs and did not make him walk on his own. The defendants planned to testify that time was of the essence and it was faster and safer to assist the plaintiff’s decedent down the stairs than to secure him in a carrier before bringing him down the stairs during a time when the decedent required emergency intervention to attempt to save his life. The defendants and their experts were further prepared to testify that the decedent had suffered a massive acute anterior wall myocardial infarction, which was incompatible with life, before the defendants had even arrived at the scene.

Lubin & Meyer represented the plaintiff in this lawsuit. (Andrew C. Meyer, Jr. and Nicholas D. Cappiello, Worcester Superior Court)

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