EMT hurts wrist on stretcher, sues ambulance company

Kelly Holleran Apr. 9, 2009, 8:47am

A Buna woman has filed suit against Williams A. Ambulance and two of its employees, alleging her wrist snapped while she was attempting to adjust a stretcher.

Tracey L. Horning, an emergency medical technician with Beaumont-based Williams A. Ambulance, claims she and her partner were dispatched to pick up a patient at Jasper Memorial Hospital on April 20, 2007.

To transfer a patient from the hospital bed to a stretcher, the stretcher's height must be adjusted so it is similar to the height of the hospital bed, according to the complaint filed April 7 in Jefferson County District Court.

In keeping with regulations, Horning was attempting to adjust the stretcher's height. However, she was unable to get the height mechanism to release, the complaint says.

As she was making a second attempt to release the height mechanism by pulling more forcefully on it, Horning's wrist popped, causing her immediate pain, the suit states.

"Horning then obtained assistance from her partner who was able to get the release to engage," the suit states. "However, Horning was unable to use her hands because of the pain in her wrist."

After Horning helped deliver the patient to St. Elizabeth Hospital in Beaumont, she returned to Jasper and showed her supervisor, defendant Glen Blank, the swelling in her wrist and hand. Blank ordered her to go to the emergency room at Jasper Memorial Hospital where she was treated and released, according to the complaint.

Horning says Williams A. Ambulance, Rob Carroll Jr. and Blank were negligent by failing to provide her with a safe place to work, by failing to maintain the ambulance cot, by failing to provide equipment in a safe working condition and by failing to warn Horning it was not safe to use the stretcher.

Horning is seeking unspecified actual damages, plus pre- and post-judgment interest at the maximum rate, costs and other relief to which she may be entitled.

She is represented by Bruce Gregory of the Gregory Law Firm in Port Neches.

The case has been assigned to Judge Gary Sanderson, 60th District Court.

Jefferson County District Court case number: B183-738.

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