LA County Sued By Relative Of Patient Over Transport

A woman who claims she was prevented from transporting a relative to the hospital in her car by two Los Angeles County firefighters, has filed suit alleging they violated her civil rights.

Vanessa Joy Calhoun filed suit yesterday in Los Angeles County Superior Court. She claims the county and two firefighters-paramedics, Gary Garrett and Jonathan Plasencia, violated her federal and state constitutional rights, “unlawfully harassed, both physically and verbally, Plaintiff, possibly imprisoned Plaintiff, assaulted, battered and unlawfully arrested Plaintiff without justification or lawful reason”, and were negligent.

The suit flows from an incident that occurred on June 24, 2018 when Calhoun asked if she could “drive a relative to the hospital rather than incurring ambulance fees.” The complaint alleged the medics prohibited her from doing so, and in the process “assaulted Plaintiff VANESSA JOY CALHOUN, falsely imprisoned her, and then created a false police report resulting in criminal charges being filed against Plaintiff.” According to the complaint the medics “over-reacted when they restrained and physically assaulted” her.

The complaint is signed by an attorney, but it contains a number of irregularities, including a signing date of December 10, 2013. Finding a good paralegal these days is a challenge for us all… so I will cut my colleague some slack there. Any legal eagles pick up on anything else that seems off?

Here is a copy of the complaint.

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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