When New Mexico residents are at home and need medical help, it is not uncommon to pick up the phone and dial 911. In most cases, emergency personnel will come to the home quickly and provide medical assistance. Unfortunately, this does not always occur, which is what has opened up one city in another state to a potentially expensive wrongful death lawsuit.
On May 30, a family member dialed 911 because an 8-month-old little girl had stopped breathing. The mother says she first called the little girl’s grandmother, who then dialed 911. The grandmother was informed that a medical professional would be dispatched to the home.
A female emergency medical technician was dispatched to the scene. She had been informed that a baby was having difficulty breathing and her assistance was needed immediately. The family ended up making yet another phone call to 911 because no one had shown up and the girl had stopped breathing completely.
The EMT was instructed to go to the scene immediately. Although she drove near the home where she was needed, the technician did not go to the home to save the baby’s life. Instead, she parked around the corner and then informed dispatchers after six minutes that she was not going to go help.
The family is suing the city of Detroit, as well as the fire department, for gross negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress. In any state, including New Mexico, it is an EMT’s job to come to the scene and provide medical assistance to the best of his or her ability when needed. When personnel fail to do their jobs or outright refuse to provide professional help and someone is injured or dies as a result, personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits may be one way to hold them accountable and recover financial compensation for the damages caused as a result of their negligence.