Stroke Victim Sues Illinois Fire Department

An Illinois woman has filed suit against the Aurora Fire Department claiming the failure of three paramedics to properly diagnose her stroke caused her to suffer permanent injuries.

Susan Miller filed the suit in Kane County Circuit Court last week. She claims that paramedics assumed she was intoxicated when she was actually having a stroke.

Miller called 911 at 2:00am on May 28, 2012, for numbness in her arm and because she fell and could not get up.  She alleges the medics examined for only "six minutes" during which time she admitted to having consumed alcohol earlier in the day.

The medics left her with instructions to “sleep it off”. Three hours later her husband transported her to an emergency room, but the damage was done. According to the complaint:

  • "As a result in the delay in receiving the proper medical treatment for her stroke, Miller suffered and continues to suffer from various injuries including but not limited to permanent facial paralysis, vision loss and one-sided paralysis. "
  • "The defendant's utter indifferent or conscious disregard for the safety of Miller is evident from defendant's failure to discover a danger through recklessness or carelessness and which could have been discovered with the exercise of ordinary care."

More on the story.

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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