$1 Million Wrongful Death Suit Claims Michigan Medics Missed Victim

The estate of a man who died in a vehicle accident last July is suing the responding EMS provider alleging that the first medics dispatched to the scene missed him slumped over in the front seat, resulting on a one hour and 48 minute delay in care that cost him his life.

Cortez Lionel Cheathams crashed on July 18, 2015 at around 4:00 am in Flint, Michigan. An ambulance from Mobile Medical Response was dispatched and arrived on scene where witnesses claim medics failed to even exit the ambulance before downgrading the call and informing dispatch that no victim was inside the vehicle.

According to The Flint Journal it was not until a neighbor called 911 for what is reported to be the fifth call regarding the accident – an hour and 48 minutes after the initial call – and a second ambulance crew was dispatched – that Cheathams’ body was discovered slumped over in the front seat.

While MMR has reportedly denied reports that the medics failed to exit their vehicle to check Cheathams’, the two employees were placed on probation, and required to attend remedial training.

The lawsuit filed November 24, 2015 in Genesee Circuit Court, alleges gross negligence and seeks $1 Million in damages.

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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