$275,000: Wheelchair Patient Injured When Ambulance Stopped Suddenly
June 8, 2010
CASE DESCRIPTION: Plaintiff, William Joss, was being transported by ambulance from a healthcare facility in Anaheim to a treatment center in La Palma. While traveling on SR-91, the ambulance driver suddenly and without warning made an abrupt braking maneuver and Mr. Joss was thrown from his wheelchair onto the floor of the ambulance.
On August 30, 2006, at approximately 11:15 a.m., plaintiff, William Joss, was being transported by a Caramedix, Inc. ambulance from Parkview Healthcare Center in Anaheim, California to a treatment center in La Palma. While traveling westbound on SR-91 in the City of Buena Park, the ambulance driver suddenly and without warning made an abrupt braking maneuver and Mr. Joss was thrown from his wheelchair onto the floor of the ambulance. The driver of the ambulance at the time was defendant, Rudy Cordero, employee of Caramedix, Inc.
PLAINTIFFS’ CONTENTIONS AS TO LIABILITY: Defendant, Caramedix, Inc., is a common carrier and has a duty to carry passengers safely. Common carriers must use the highest care, diligence and foresight to avoid harm to passengers while entering, riding, and exiting from the vehicle. Caramedix, Inc. also owes a duty of ordinary care to prevent injury to passengers while entering, riding, or exiting from the vehicle. Caramedix, Inc. breached both of the above duties of care by failing to securely fasten and safely restrain plaintiff, William Joss, during this incident and by braking and/or stopping in an unsafe manner while transporting plaintiff, William Joss.
PLAINTIFF’S INJURIES: William Joss suffered soft tissue injuries resulting in left leg pain and right knee pain; as well as severe back pain related to aggravation of pre-existing thoracic spinal injuries. Plaintiff required immediate acute care emergency room treatment and testing, as well as subsequent short term acute hospitalization for observation to rule out new and changed diagnoses or increased severity of pre-existing and co-morbid conditions.
Plaintiff, Amalia De Joss, presented a claim for loss of consortium.
FINAL RESULT: $275,000.00 (settled at mediation)
Mediator: Thomas S. Dillard, Esq.
Judicate West, Santa Ana, CA
FUTURE WAGE LOSS: Not applicable (retired).
MEDICAL SPECIALS: Approximately $12,702.40 was paid to Medicare for services provided to Mr. Joss related to the incident.
TYPE OF CASE: personal injury, negligence, common carrier negligence
DATE AND LOCATION: August 30, 2006, around 11:15 a.m.; westbound SR-91, City of Buena Park, California
PLAINTIFFS AGES: William Joss, 77; Amalia De Joss, 64
PLAINTIFF’S OCCUPATION: Retired
Christopher A. Aitken
Michael A. Penn
AITKEN * AITKEN * COHN
Alfred W. Gerisch, Jr.
Scott S. Grant
LaFOLLETTE, JOHNSON, DeHAAS, FESLER & AMES