An Ohio widow is suing the City of Northwood claiming the fire department took too long to respond to her 911 call for EMS assistance for her husband.
On March 3, 2011, Ellen Mix called 911 three times over a 22 minute period to get help for her husband, Tim, who was having difficulty breathing. It took 28 minutes for an EMS unit to arrive. By then Tim had stopped breathing. He died 2 days later.
The suit alleges not only that the EMS response was slow, but that local officials “knew or should have known that the City’s emergency response capability failed to meet the standard of care, was grossly deficient, and created a grave risk of serious harm or death to citizens who relied on its response capability for emergency medical assistance.”
The suit names Fire Chief Tim Romstadt, Mayor Mark Stoner, City Administrator Dennis Recker, as well as a lengthy list of John Does including dispatchers, supervisory personnel, administrative employees, elected officials, and consulting contractors.
Some of the quotes from the law suit:
- “Its deficiencies placed citizens at great risk of death or other serious harm”.
- “Defendants’ knowing disregard for this risk was wanton and reckless.”
- The defendants “failed to establish, enforce or adhere to policies, procedures, and practices in order to ensure a timely response to requests for emergency medical assistance.”
- Mr. Mix’s death was “a direct and proximate result of the defendants’ knowing, reckless and wanton acts and omissions.”
I am working on getting a copy of the complaint, and will post it here if I get it.
October 1, 2011: Here is the complaint, courtesy of attorney Paul Belazis: Mix v Romstadt