Pittsburgh Snowstorm Death Lawsuit Filed

A lawsuit has been filed against Pittsburgh EMS over the tragic death last winter of Curtis Mitchell. Mitchell died during a severe snowstorm when paramedics refused to walk through the snow to reach him. His family called for an ambulance 10 times over a two day period last February.

The suit names the city of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County's Department of Emergency Services, three EMS officials,  paramedic Josie Dimon, three EMS supervisors, and a 911 dispatcher.  Dimon was the individual recorded on tape as saying "He ain't (expletive) comin' down, and I ain't waiting all day for him. I mean, what the (expletive)? This ain't no cab service".

Oddly enough, City Public Safety Director Michael Huss was not sued. You may recall Huss previously apologized to Mitchell's family and expressed his outrage at Dimon and the system that let this happen. Whether this is confirmation about the value of a sincere apology coupled with an admission of responsibility, I can’t tell – but it certainly would appear that his sincerity meant something to Mitchell’s family.

Here's some video coverage.

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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