Illinois FD Sued by Fall Victim

An Illinois woman who was injured in a fall last year, has filed suit accusing the Joliet Fire Department and two of its paramedics with committing gross negligence. Pamela Sinram and her husband Kevin filed suit this week in Will County Circuit Court.

The suit contends that after Pamela fell in her Joliet home on January 30, 2020, firefighters responded but failed to properly manage her for a cervical spine injury. The medics’ carelessness reportedly resulted in a Pamela sustaining a permanent loss of function in her right arm.

While a copy of the actual complaint is not available, the Joliet Patch quoted the Sinrams’ attorney Frank Cservenyak as saying:

  • In this case, she has a permanent loss of her right arm, and she’s still having significant problems with walking.
  • There’s a standard of care and we’re saying they did nothing.
  • They knew she was in a lot of pain and they put her in a chair (then a) backboard and gurney without a cervical collar.
  • In other words, they did nothing to keep her stable.

The Patch also quoted from the complaint, which alleges the medics: “attempted to sit up and lift Pamela Sinram into a chair while her body and neck were not immobilized, even though (they) knew or should have known that Pamela Sinram’s body and neck needed to be immobilized to prevent serious injury, paralysis and or death.”

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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