Family Sues DC Fire and EMS After Paramedics Refuse to Take 2-Year-Old to Hospital

By Peter DePaolis

The family of a two-year-old girl has filed a lawsuit against Washington, D.C. Fire and EMS. The girl died in February after she experienced trouble breathing. The family alleges that after they called 911, paramedics came to their home for only 10 minutes where they inadequately examined the girl and then refused to take her to the hospital. The family also said that paramedics misdiagnosed the child. The girl eventually went to the hospital eight hours later where she died from pneumonia.

Fire and EMS members are often the first medical professionals to respond to an emergency. Their initial decisions can mean life or death for victims at the scene. They may have to diagnose problems and make decisions about which drugs to administer in a matter of seconds. Problems can occur for patients of first responders just like with doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers.

DC Police said in March that they would criminally investigate the senior paramedic who refused to transport the girl to the hospital, but there has been no update as to the progress of the investigation. Prior to this incident, news sources reported that DC Fire and EMS had demoted the paramedic in question due to past problems.

Victims of medical malpractice should consider consulting a Washington, D.C. medical malpractice attorney. For more information about problems such as negligence, misdiagnosis and incorrect drug prescriptions, contact Roger C. Johnson, a Washington, D.C. personal injury lawyer, at Koonz, McKenney, Johnson & DePaolis L.L.P.

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.