Sexual Assault Victim Sues Oregon Firefighter, Fire Department and Hospital

An Oregon firefighter who is already facing state and federal charges for stealing drugs and using them to sexually assault unsuspecting women, has been sued by one of his victims. Eugene-Springfield firefighter Edward Augustus Blake, 44, was originally charged by Springfield police with rape, sodomy, strangulation, unlawful delivery of a controlled substance, and causing another person to ingest a controlled substance. Federal officials later charged Blake with conspiring to possess with intent to distribute fentanyl, morphine, ketamine, and midazolam.

Last month, one of his victims filed suit in Lane County Circuit Court naming Blake, the Eugene-Springfield Fire Department, and two medical providers, Sacred Heart Medical Center at Riverbend and Sacred Heart’s parent company PeaceHealth. The suit accuses Blake of battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and physical abuse of a vulnerable person. It accuses the fire department and the medical providers of negligence and negligent supervision for allowing Blake access to the drugs.

Quoting from the complaint:

  • At all times material herein, Eugene-Springfield FD provided its paramedics with controlled substances for use in the course of their duties providing emergency medical services to the public.
  • At all times material herein, Eugene-Springfield FD had a contractual relationship with Sacred Heart Medical Center through which Eugene-Springfield FD obtained controlled substances for its paramedics for use in the course of their duties.
  • Eugene-Springfield FD paramedics obtained controlled substances from Sacred Heart Medical Center by logging the controlled substances out through a secure electronic dispensing system known as Pyxis.
  • After Eugene-Springfield FD paramedics logged out the controlled substances from Pyxis, they would record the controlled substances they obtained in physical log books located on the Eugene-Springfield FD ambulances as they restocked the ambulances’ medical supplies.
  • Peace Health did not routinely cross-check the electronic logs maintained by Sacred Heart Medical Center on Pyxis against the physical logs maintained by Eugene-Springfield FD on the ambulances for discrepancies to identify potential drug diversion by paramedics.
  • Eugene-Springfield FD did not routinely cross-check the physical logs maintained on Eugene-Springfield FD’ s ambulances against the electronic logs maintained by Sacred Heart Medical Center on Pyxis for discrepancies to identify potential drug diversion by paramedics.
  • At all times material herein, Blake had access to controlled substances from Sacred Heart Medical Center’s Pyxis electronic dispensing system pursuant to his employment as a Eugene-Springfield FD paramedic including, but not limited to Ketamine, Fentanyl, Midazolam, and Morphine.
  • Between January 2016 through September 2019, Blake took the following controlled substances from Sacred Heart Medical Center’s Pyxis system but did not enter them into Eugene-Springfield FD’s ambulance logs: 181 vials of Fentanyl 100mcg/2ml; 24 vials of Morphine 10mg/1ml; 10 vials of Ketamine 500mg/5ml; and128 vials of Midazolam 5mg/5ml.
  • In at least 2016, 2017, and 2018, Blake victimized women with controlled substances and medical supplies that he had taken from Sacred Heart Medical Center and from Eugene-Springfield FD.
  • On or before September 10, 2019, Blake posted a Craigslist ad online seeking a female companion.
  • On or just prior to September 10, 2019, plaintiff replied to Blake’s Craigslist ad. Blake and plaintiff agreed to meet.
  • On the evening of September 10, 2019, plaintiff met Blake at Room #103 at the Regency Inn, 1152 Main Street, Springfield, Lane County, Oregon.
  • Soon after her arrival, Blake began to choke plaintiff from behind with his arms to the point she could not breathe. Plaintiff became unconscious.
  • When plaintiff regained consciousness, she found an intravenous needle had been inserted into her arm while she was unconscious.
  • From the evening of September 10, 2019 through the morning of September 11, 2019, Blake administered controlled substances obtained from Sacred Heart Medical Center intravenously to plaintiff without her consent.
  • The controlled substances caused plaintiff to be incapacitated to the point that she could not consent to sexual contact with Blake.
  • After incapacitating plaintiff, Blake then raped, sodomized, molested, and assaulted plaintiff.
  • As a direct and proximate result of defendants’ conduct, actions, and omissions set forth above, plaintiff: has suffered serious, painful bodily injuries, great physical pain and mental anguish, severe emotional distress, and loss of the capacity for the enjoyment of life; was, is and will be required to undergo extensive medical treatment and to incur reasonable medical costs and expenses to alleviate her injuries, pain and suffering; and and was otherwise hurt, injured and caused to sustain losses, economic damages, and noneconomic damages in an amount more than $50,000.00, to be proven at trial.

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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