Widow Sues Over Ambulance Response in FL

rescuecpt

Community Leader Emeritus
2,088
1
0
The widow of a garbage collector who died of heatstroke in 2003 after an ambulance took a half-hour to respond is suing Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare, which ran the ambulance service until the end of that year.

The death of Will Junious helped prompt a change in dispatch procedures so that firefighters automatically respond to help at many emergency scenes.

Carolyn M. Junious filed her wrongful-death suit Friday in Leon Circuit Civil Court, seeking more than $15,000 in damages.

Full Text at Firehouse.com

As for my topic description... where does it say that ambulance response is a right? Granted, in most places you pay taxes... but you also pay taxes for road repair and street cleaning, and we all know how wonderful those services are...
 

MedicPrincess

Forum Deputy Chief
2,021
3
0
It is interesting to me in the story it says it was not considered life threatening. Makes me wonder what they told the 911 dispatcher. We all know the caller can OVER state as easily as they UNDERstate the problem. I would love to hear the tape of the first 911 call.

As for ambulance service being a right...people sure act like its a god given right to have an ambulance, don't they?

I would say yes, in an emergency, transportation by ambulance in the patients right. They need it, they deserve the best medical care as fast as they can get it.

However, in the non-emergency "I just fell down and broke my nail" calls, no it is not their right for an ambulance to come to them. The patient needs to take responsibilty and ensure they are telling the 911 dispatchers correct enough information that they are able to make the determination what is emergent vs. nonemergent.

On the flip side, should we as EMS providers have the right to pursue charges of abuse of the 911 system for these callers that do call 911 for the "broken fingernail" or "toe pain for the last 2 months"
 

Chimpie

Site Administrator
Community Leader
6,276
734
113
Maybe this exists, I don't know, but I feel that EMS providers should have the right to refuse transport. Sure this could be very dangerous legally, but it should be an option.
 

SafetyPro2

Forum Safety Officer
772
2
0
We actually discussed this issue at some length on the City Council ad hoc committee I served on looking at our fire department level of service. Per our City Attorney, there is no actual legal obligation for a city in California to provide fire or EMS service to its residents. Most do as a matter of good governance, but a city could theoritically choose not to.

Now, once you decide to provide that service, then it becomes a bit more complicated. Technically, a city can't be held liable for providing "inadequate" service, so long as its not negligent. For example, if a city of 200,000 only had one fire engine and one ambulance, they couldn't really be held liable for that, even though its obviously an inadequate level of service for a city that size. But, if the FD staff behaved in a negligent way (such as refusing to respond or providing inapporpriate care), then they probably could be held liable.
 

CodeSurfer

Forum Captain
364
0
0
So if the response took 30 minutes because the city was short on rigs... they could not be held liable. Sounds like the city has a good chance of having it dismissed if they get a jewish lawyer. :p
 

Jon

Administrator
Community Leader
7,989
48
48
Originally posted by CodeSurfer@Jun 17 2005, 01:21 AM
So if the response took 30 minutes because the city was short on rigs... they could not be held liable. Sounds like the city has a good chance of having it dismissed if they get a jewish lawyer. :p
How about we just say Good lawyer?

I think that yes, it is your right to expect an ambulance for serious issues, not for BS.
 
Top