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Articles Posted in EMT Negligence

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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

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Not all healthcare professionals are doctors. For example, paramedics provide medical care to patients throughout Maryland on a  regular basis. While paramedics can be held liable for harm caused by negligent medical care, similar to doctors, the standard of care imposed on paramedics differs from the standard imposed on doctors, as demonstrated in a recent Maryland appellate court case. If you suffered harm due to incompetent care by a paramedic, it is prudent to speak with a Maryland medical malpractice attorney experienced in handling complicated cases to discuss what damages you may be able to recover.

Factual Background

It is reported that the plaintiff called 911 at 1:00 am due to the fact that her husband was complaining of chest pains and difficulty breathing. The defendant paramedics were dispatched to the plaintiff’s house. Upon arrival, they spoke with the plaintiff’s husband, who stated that his right side hurt. Further, the plaintiff advised the paramedics that her husband said he felt like he was having a heart attack. The plaintiff’s husband staggered to the ambulance from his home, where his vital signs were assessed. He was transported to an ambulance, where he sat in the emergency room for about ten minutes. He then lost consciousness and fell out of his wheelchair. He never regained consciousness and ultimately died. The cause of his death was a heart attack.

Allegedly, the plaintiff filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the defendants, arguing that they should be held liable for the plaintiff’s harm. The defendants argued that they were immune from liability under Maryland law. The case proceeded to trial, and judgment was entered in favor of the defendants. The plaintiff then appealed. Continue Reading

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