Suit Alleges EMS Responsible for Victim’s Death, Not Homicide Suspect

A South Carolina man who is facing homicide charges has filed a rather unconventional civil rights lawsuit against first responders: he is claiming he is the victim of their failure to provide adequate medical care to the victim. Thomas Reginald Brooks filed suit pro se against nineteen defendants, including Sumter County Emergency Medical Services, the Sumter Police Department, Engine 209 of the  Sumter Fire Department, Aircare Air Ambulance Service,  Lifenet Air Ambulance Service, the decedent, and the decedent’s estate.

The suit filed in US District Court for the District of South Carolina accuses responders of abandonment and providing “inadequate care and treatment” to Stevy Evand Pleasant. Pleasant, 57, died from “blunt force injuries” on August 3, 2022. Brooks, 42, is claiming he used non-deadly force to defend himself against Pleasant’s attack. He further contends that he is being blamed for Pleasant’s death in order to conceal the responders’ failure to properly render aid.

The complaint is hand written, but I will try to accurately quote from it as best I can decipher:

  • The defendant partys [sic] of Sumter County EMS is guilty of “abandonment” of an [sic] patient named Stevy Pleasant.
  • The plaintiff lawfully used non-deadly force to save his live. And against Pleasant’s aggression and violate [sic] behavior.
  • First responders were called to the scene… and provided Pleasant with inadequate medical care and treatment.
  • The defendants or [sic] in violation of specified regulations that lead up to why Pleasant died under their care.
  • Stevy Pleasant and or the estate of Stevy Pleasant is being cited to have attempted to murder the plaintiff.
  • After the Sumter EMS, police dept and fire dept dropped to [sic] ball in the emergency care and medical emergency care and transport of the plaintiffs attacker Stevy Pleasant.
  • After the fact of the failures in the treatment and care of Stevy Pleasant, resulting in Pleasants death.
  • The same agency of the Sumter Police Department and or associates of the Sumter Polcie Department exploited there [sic] jurisdiction of the investigation into the details of how and why did Stevy Pleasant receive the blunt force injuries that required timely emergency medical attention.
  • The defendants conspired against the plaintiff and he was used as a decoy or diversion to shift the blame concerning Pleasants death.

Here is news coverage of Pleasant’s death, and Brook’s arrest. Here is a copy of the complaint.

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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