Dropped Patient Gets $200k Settlement from Orange County Fire Rescue

Orange County, Florida has settled a two year old lawsuit over a dropped patient. Orange County Fire-Rescue personnel dropped 52 year old Astolfo Lugo back in July, 2006, when the wooden chair they were carrying him on, broke. Lugo, a diabetic, suffered a broken hip, two broken shoulders, and a fractured spine in the fall.

Suit was filed in 2007, and was settled this month for the sum of $200,000. Paramedics apparently opted to transport Lugo on the wooden kitchen chair that they found him sitting on, conscious but unresponsive. After the incident, the department implemented a policy requiring patients to be transported using fire department equipment (stair chair or stretcher).

More on the story and news video.

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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