EMTs and paramedics are often the first people to respond to calls regarding medical emergencies. Although they are not doctors, medical first responders are expected to abide by a certain standard of care and can be held liable when their reckless acts cause physical harm. Proving an EMT should be deemed responsible for injuries can be challenging, however, as illustrated in a recent Maryland ruling in which the court found that the plaintiff did not produce evidence of gross negligence, as required to recover damages. If you were hurt by the careless acts of a first responder, it is prudent to consult a knowledgeable Maryland medical malpractice attorney to discuss what evidence you must produce to demonstrate liability.
The Defendant’s Pre-Call and Post-Call Behavior
Allegedly, the plaintiffs’ decedent, who was 21-years-old, was at a friend’s house when he began experiencing difficulty breathing. The friend called 911, and the defendant EMTs responded to the call. Tragically, the decedent died due to cardiac arrest following an asthma attack. Plaintiffs, the decedent’s parents, filed a lawsuit against the defendants and their employer. The lawsuit alleged in pertinent part that the defendants’ failure to respond to the call in a prompt manner and to aggressively treat the decedent’s symptoms once they arrived led to the decedent’s death.
It is reported that the defendants moved to have the plaintiffs’ claims dismissed via summary judgment. The court found that the plaintiffs failed to demonstrate the defendants were grossly negligent as required under Maryland law and granted the motion. The plaintiffs appealed. Continue Reading