The wife of an Alabama sheriff’s deputy who died after an off-duty motorcycle crash last September has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the first responder ambulance company for arriving at the scene without a qualified advanced life support paramedic.
Pamela Smith was a passenger on her husband Larry Smith’s motorcycle when Mr. Smith “had a coughing spell which caused him to alter his driving status and (leave) the roadway and (strike) a tree,” in the town of Opp, the complaint states, according to the Andalusia Star-News.
The E-911 board of Covington County, where Mr. Smith was a sheriff’s deputy, was notified of the emergency and dispatched Opportunity EMS, the ambulance service with which the County had a contract, to the accident scene.
According to the lawsuit, Opportunity EMS’ contract with Covington County E-911 required it to dispatch an advanced life support paramedic on all Code 3 emergency runs. If the ambulance receiving the dispatch order did not have an advanced life support paramedic available, it was contractually obligated to tell County dispatchers so that they could dispatch another ambulance service that had the qualified personnel.
The lawsuit alleged that Opportunity EMS never told Covington County E-911 that it did not have the required paramedic when responding to Mr. Smith’s Code 3 emergency.
Opp Fire Chief Cory Spurlin, a member of the E-911 board, was at the accident scene and noticed Opportunity EMS failed to provide the required paramedic and asked that another ambulance with the proper staff be dispatched.
“Valuable time was lost due to the failure of defendant, Opportunity EMS, not having a required and necessary paramedic on the run, which necessitated making other arrangements and the loss of essential time for giving assistance to the plaintiff’s decedent (Larry Smith),” the complaint asserts, according to the Andalusia Star-News.
The other EMS unit administered CPR to Mr. Smith while taking him to the hospital. He arrived with a weak pulse but died shortly after arrival.
Mrs. Smith filed the wrongful death complaint in Covington County Circuit Court.
Source: The Andalusia Star-News