The Duty of First Responders
EMS units are staffed by trained healthcare professionals who are responsible for treating and transporting any patients facing serious health and medical emergencies. As first responders, these workers have an obligation to fulfill the basic principles of first aid: Preserve Life, Prevent Further Injury, and Promote Recovery.
But what happens when practitioners fail to observe this creed?
A Tragic & Preventable Fatality
Last February, Gabray Carter took one of the most difficult calls a person can receive: his grandfather, Whitfield Marshall (64), had passed away in his home. Records show that an EMS crew found Marshall “face down hard, cold, with blood pooling on his whole front side.” They proclaimed him DOA – Dead on Arrival – without performing any medical exams or treatment procedures.
Carter and his girlfriend, Julia Morris, went to Marshall’s apartment to visit him one last time before the funeral home arrived to pick up his body. He described the traumatizing events that followed to Chuck Goudie and Ross Weidner of ABC 7 News: “The apartment is so small, so [Morris] opened the door and went in, but I could see from the door that he was on the ground. He was moving his arms. I was terrified. I was actually terrified because my best friend was lying on the ground! Helpless!” Carter and Morris, who are both in training to become paramedics, found Marshall’s pulse and called 911. Carter adds, “If I was in that situation, I definitely would have been able to save him if I was the EMT who came the first time.”
Per Chicago Fire Department records, it had already been over three and a half hours since the original emergency team left. When EMS arrived the second time, they transported Marshall, who still had a weak pulse, to Stroger Hospital, where he tragically suffered a heart attack. The family took Marshall off life support three days later.
The Family Pursues Justice
The Chicago Fire Department and the Illinois Department of Public Health are separately investigating this incident. The negligent paramedics were suspended for two weeks and reportedly “retrained” in their duties.
Marshall’s family is suing the city for failing to treat their loved one and leaving him for dead. Carter told ABC 7, “I want to get justice for my grandfather” and that his “best friend” and “role model” would want him “to do anything in my power to make sure this didn’t happen to anyone else in the City of Chicago.”
Attorney Daniel J. Biederman, Sr. of Leonard Law Group is representing Marshall’s family and facilitating their pursuit of justice. ABC 7 interviewed Attorney Biederman to understand more about this case. Attorney Biederman explained that the paramedics took Marshall’s “chance away from him. He laid on that floor for three and a half hours struggling and it’s absolutely clear had they gotten him to that hospital earlier, his chances of surviving were much, much greater. It’s stunning that this happened. Why those paramedics left, those paramedics didn’t examine him? If Julia could feel a heartbeat three and a half hours later they clearly didn’t feel for a heartbeat, they never should have left that apartment.”
Injured by a Negligent Party? Contact a Trial-Tested Lawyer Today
Contact the Chicago medical malpractice attorneys at Leonard Law Group if you or a loved one has been harmed by the actions of a negligent healthcare professional. Our experienced legal team can investigate your case, calculate your injury-related expenses, and consult with medical experts to develop a litigation strategy that reflects and achieves your legal objectives. By taking legal action, you can hold the negligent party accountable for their actions and protect other innocent people from experiencing your hardships and losses.
Our firm has recovered over $500 million on behalf of our clients. Call Leonard Law Group at (312) 487-2513 to schedule a free consultation.