Wrongful Death Suit filed in Detroit Failure To Act Case

The refusal of a Detroit EMT to respond to a home where an infant was not breathing has led to a wrongful death suit by the infant’s mother.

On May 30, 2015, EMT Ann Marie Thomas was reportedly less than a mile from the home of Janee Wright-Trussel, the mother of eight month old I’Naya Wright-Trussel, when the call came in. According to reports, it took Thomas six minutes to drive to the scene. She then parked her unit on a street corner away from the residence while waiting for other units to arrive.

According to an internal investigation, Thomas’s excuse for delaying was not about a concern for her safety, but rather was about not wanting to have to do CPR on an infant for an extended period of time without additional resources. In ordering her termination, the investigation report characterized Thomas’ act as “depraved indifference”.

Ms. Wright Trussel and Howard Linden, the duly appointed personal representative of the infant, filed suit yesterday in Wayne County Circuit Court, naming the City of Detroit, the Detroit Fire Department, and Ann Marie Thomas. The two count complaint alleges gross negligence and intentional infliction of severe emotional distress.

Here is a copy of the complaint: Wright-Trussell-Complaint

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About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer’s Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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