A jury in New Jersey awarded $6 million against an advanced life support services provider after it determined that emergency medical technicians negligently treated a patient, leading to her death.
The Mercer County jury deliberated for several hours following a two-week trial before finding that a paramedic employed by Capital Health System Inc. failed to properly intubate the 20-year-old patient.
The lawsuit claimed that the paramedic placed an endotracheal tube incorrectly, causing a loss of oxygen supply to the patient’s brain. The patient had collapsed at home one week after giving birth to a premature baby and was transported to the hospital by a Capital Health Services ambulance.
In the first verdict against an advanced life support services provider in New Jersey, the jury found that Capital Health failed to act in good faith, increased the risk of harm to the patient, and substantially contributed to her death.
Capital Health unsuccessfully asserted a qualified immunity defense. The jury rejected the individual claims against the two EMTs.
To establish liability, the plaintiff was required to show a failure to act in good faith in addition to negligence.
The jury awarded the patient’s estate and family $1.68 million for her pain and suffering, $1.12 million for loss of household services, $873,193 for loss of future earnings, and $332,645 for loss of fringe benefits along with $2 million to her child for loss of past and future services and companionship.