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Illinois Personal Injury & Criminal Defense / Blog / Personal Injury / Family Files Wrongful Death Against Paramedics

Family Files Wrongful Death Against Paramedics


Recently, an Illinois family filed a lawsuit against paramedics after their mishandling of a situation led to the death of a man in crisis. The paramedics have since been charged with murder after it was revealed they left the man in a prone position and allowed him to asphyxiate. The big issue here is that a paramedic knows about positional asphyxiation, so they can predict that placing a man who is in a stupor in that position will cause him to die. Hence, the murder charges.

The wrongful death lawsuit is another matter that will be handled in civil court. The criminal case will take precedence. The defendants are in a difficult position because they are being charged with murder leaving a plea on the table. If they take a plea, it would be tantamount to admitting guilt for the civil trial. They have two other options. They can either plead “no contest” or take an Alford plea so that the conviction cannot be used against them in the civil trial. However, their employer is more likely to eat the bill for this than they are. So, ultimately, the criminal case is unlikely to pressure the defendants into refusing a plea.

Wrongful death lawsuits against paramedics 

Such lawsuits are becoming more common, but remain difficult to win. In this case, the allegations are malice and cruelty which is much different than filing a suit on the basis of medical malpractice. In a case like the one above, the jury will not be expected to follow medical reasoning. Instead, they will be told that the paramedics were indifferent to the man’s wellbeing and in their pitiless negligence, they caused his death. Ultimately, we hold the paramedics accountable for playing God, not for a medical mistake.

On the grounds of a medical mistake, paramedics can be quite difficult to hold accountable. They often have to make split-second decisions and plaintiffs have a high bar to overcome when it comes to paramedic malpractice. So, these lawsuits are a novel factor of civil rights issues that are now coming to the fore.

Because they are civil rights lawsuits, they are complicated not only by elements of personal injury but racial matters that trigger a lot of anger and frustration in the public. Because they are also civil rights lawsuits, they create massive problems for the defendants that ultimately have to pay out millions to satisfy the ire of grieving families.

Every person has a right to be treated like a person by medical professionals regardless of their mental health, economic status, or any other factor. Medical professionals have often gotten away with this conduct in the past, but because we are more sensitive to mental health matters, we’re allowed less of this stuff to go on.

Talk to a Champaign, IL Personal Injury Lawyer 

Patel Law, PC represents the interests of residents who have been injured by negligence. Call our personal injury lawyers today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help.



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