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Paramedic Negligence Lawsuit Heads To Legislature

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The law is often a winding path filled with several forks. Even those who have committed their lives to the study of the law will never understand the full breadth of it. It was created over generations by thousands of hands all working together though they never met one another. One concept under the law that tends not to be thoroughly understood is sovereign immunity.

A recent incident involving paramedic negligence that resulted in the untimely death of a 30-year-old woman has been put before the Florida legislature. In this article, we’ll discuss what happened and the basics of sovereign immunity.

What happened? 

HB 6511 is the claims bill that will help bring the family relief after their loved one died. According to the lawsuit, a mother called 911 after finding her daughter unconscious on the ground. The EMTs who arrived at the scene decided that the woman probably did not need an ambulance and denied her life-saving intervention leaving her mother responsible for driving her to the hospital. The woman died before she could receive the proper medical attention.

According to the lawsuit, the EMTs contributed to the woman’s death by denying medical services. It was not within their power to make this decision. In effect, they were playing God. The medics asked the woman if she wanted to go to the hospital and she responded that she did. Without taking vital signs, the EMTs determined that the woman was not ambulatory.

The county agreed to settle the lawsuit for $2.5 million, but because of sovereign immunity laws, damages would be capped at $200,000.

To circumvent the law of sovereign immunity, the plaintiffs must petition the legislature with a claims bill. The claims bill is voted on in the legislature. This particular claims bill passed unanimously in the house. It is now headed toward the senate. If passed, the family would receive the full $2.5 million.

Claims bills of this sort are rare 

In recent years, you’ve been hearing a lot more about claims bills and sovereign immunity. However, like this case, most of those involve some element of civil rights abuses. It’s exceedingly unlikely that your trip and fall lawsuit over an uneven piece of cement will find its way before the state legislature. Even in cases where defendants are left with paralysis or injury that prevents them from working, a claims bill would be quite rare.

Essentially, plaintiffs must be able to place some pressure on the state legislature to pass their claim. Ultimately, the cases that have been voted on in legislatures involve police brutality or the denial of services based on race, ethnicity, or class.

Talk to a Tampa, FL Personal Injury Attorney 

If you’ve been injured due to the negligence of another, call the Tampa personal injury attorneys at The Matassini Law Firm to schedule a free case evaluation and learn more about how we can help.

Resource:

Legislature advances claims bill costing Hillsborough Co. $2.45 million for paramedic negligence

 

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