Washington Stroke Victim Sues Fire and Police Departments

The family of a woman who was arrested for DUI following three accidents has filed suit against the local police and fire departments who concluded she was intoxicated. Jane Carhuff, 55, was driving herself to the doctor on November 11, 2019 when the accidents occurred. She actually suffered a massive stroke.

Carhuff left the scenes of each of the three crashes and was apprehended by the Puyallup Police Department in the waiting room at her doctor’s office. Police requested Central Pierce Fire and Rescue respond to evaluate her. Carhuff’s blood sugar and vitals were normal, leaving firefighters to conclude she was “not in any medical distress” and apparently “under the influence of some unknown intoxicant.”

Carhuff was arrested and charged with DUI. Even though she was bailed out after 8 hours, her family was told she was high on drugs, acting “goofy,” but was not in medical distress. The family relied upon what the police officers told them and waited 24 to 36 hours for the signs of drug impairment to lessen. Her brother eventually brought her to an urgent care clinic, where she was then rushed to an emergency room. It was then discovered that she suffered a massive stroke, leaving her in a near vegetative state.

The lawsuit names the City of Puyallup, the Puyallup Police Department, Pierce County Fire Protection District #6 and the Central Pierce Fire and Rescue. A copy of the complaint is not available at this time, but will be posted here when it is available. Here is more from InsideEdition. Here is more from The News Tribune.

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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