Suit Claims LAFD Medics Dropped Patient Fracturing Her Leg

A woman who claims Los Angeles City Fire Department medics dropped her while transferring her from her bed to a wheel chair, has filed suit in Los Angeles County Superior Court. Marcia Hayes claims her leg was fractured requiring surgery after she was carelessly and negligently dropped on December 3, 2021.

According to the complaint:

  • On December 3, 2021, Plaintiff, was at her residence …. [and] began experiencing pain, dehydration and was incoherent.
  • A call was placed to 9-1-1, and a Los Angeles Fire Department Rescue Ambulance (“RA”) was dispatched to provide transport to the hospital.
  • Upon arriving at the residence where Plaintiff was present, the RA personnel, observed Plaintiff lying on her bed in a weakened and incoherent state.
  • Shortly after arriving, the RA personnel attempted to transfer Plaintiff from her bed to a wheelchair located approximately three to four feet away from her bed.
  • As the RA personnel attempted to transfer Plaintiff from her bed to the wheelchair, they neither supported or secured Plaintiff such that, she fell violently and loudly, making contact with the ground, causing injury to Plaintiff.
  • Plaintiff immediately experienced an intense pain in her leg from a broken bone.
  • After Plaintiff fell, RA personnel failed to further tend to Plaintiff and instead waited for a supervisor to arrive at the scene before tending to Plaintiff and transferring her to the hospital.
  • Plaintiff required surgery to her leg shortly thereafter.
  • By failing to secure and support Plaintiff, and by failing to make safe transportation, e.g. failing to react when Plaintiff began to fall, in addition to allowing Plaintiff to remain on the floor unattended until a supervisor arrived, the RA personnel, city employees, were not only negligent, they acted with gross negligence; that is, the lack of any care or an extreme departure from what a reasonably careful person would do in the same situation to prevent harm to oneself or to others.
  • The RA personnel acted with a complete disregard for the safety, life, and well-being of Plaintiff, breaching their duties to Plaintiff, in every regard.
  • Furthermore, after causing the initial injury to Plaintiff, the RA personnel did not respond for an elongated period of time.
  • In all these respects, the RA personnel breached their duty of care owed to Plaintiff.

Hayes claims injuries have left her unable to move without assistance. The complaint contains two counts, negligence and negligent infliction of emotional distress. 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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