Sacramento Settles Dropped Patient Suit for $495k

A $495,000 settlement has been reached in a lawsuit brought against the City of Sacramento by an 83-year-old woman who suffered a serious injury when she was dropped by paramedics. Marlene Jordan suffered a fractured left femur when fire department medics reportedly dropped her as she was being transferred from a reclining chair to a gurney.

The incident occurred at Jordan’s house in July of 2021, and was witnessed by her husband James. Both Marlene and James sued the city in Sacramento County Superior Court alleging negligence/medical malpractice, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and loss of consortium. James’ claims were premised in part on his being present when the harm occurred. Quoting from the complaint:

  • Plaintiff JAMES JORDAN witnessed the paramedics dropping his wife, who upon falling sustained a fractured left femur.
  • Plaintiff JAMES JORDAN saw this incident and witnessed the pain and anguish MARLENE JORDAN was in as she screamed in pain.

A copy of the complaint is included below.

According to the Sacramento Bee, the settlement was reached in June, but was only recently made public. The Bee quoted a spokesperson for the city, Tim Swanson, as saying “After a thorough evaluation, it was determined that settling this case was in the best interest of the city.”

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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