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PERSONAL INJURY: Trial Court holds defendant owed no duty of care to plaintiff injured by ambulance stretcher

Plaintiff worked as a mental health assistant at a hospital and was accompanying a patient by ambulance staffed by two EMT’s.  Upon arrival at the hospital, one EMT attempted to remove the patient from the ambulance using a stretcher.  The stretcher tipped forward and the plaintiff, who was standing behind the ambulance, attempted to catch the stretcher and his arm was caught in the stretcher’s side rails, causing the plaintiff serious injuries necessitating surgery.

The plaintiff brought suit against the ambulance service, alleging that the EMTs violated the defendant’s rules by attempting to remove a loaded stretcher using only one EMT.  The defendant moved for summary judgment, arguing that it owed no duty to the plaintiff who was not supposed to be involved in the removal of the patient.

The Court granted summary judgment, holding that the rule was intended to ensure plaintiff and employee safety, not safety of third parties who might place themselves nearby and intervene in the unloading of a patient.

Francis v. Hunter’s Ambulance Serv., Inc., CV-17-6084503 (10/9/2018)