Family Seeking $100 Million from Rialto Fire Department for Wrongful Death

The daughter of a man who died last November, is seeking $100 million in damages against the Rialto Fire Department claiming medics wrongfully refused to enter a medical facility due to concerns over COVID. Joseph Angulo, 56, died on November 17, 2021.

Bridgette Angulo alleges the Rialto Fire Department medics refused to enter the Rialto Post Acute Care Center to treat her father despite being aware that caregivers were administering CPR inside. As explained in earlier coverage, when the medics refused to enter, a police officer went in and assisted facility personnel in moving the patient to the medics outside. That officer was wearing a body cam that captured much of what went on.

Once the patient was brought outside, the medics attended to and transported him to the hospital where he later died. Three Rialto Fire Department medics were placed on leave while the matter was investigated. No word on the outcome of that investigation.

Several media outlets are reporting that Bridgette Angulo has filed suit in the matter, while others report that she filed a $100 million administrative claim with the city on January 27, 2022. Neither the San Bernardino County Superior Court nor any of the US District Courts appear to have a case filing from the Angulos as of this time. The Sun is reporting that Bridgette Angulo’s attorney Bill Shapiro in planning to file suit later this month. More on the story.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 45 years of fire service experience and 35 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, 4th ed. 2022) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.
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