DETROIT (WWJ/AP) - The family of an 8-month-old girl who died after a Detroit emergency medical technician reportedly refused to help when the baby stopped breathing is suing for upwards of $2 million.
The family of I'Nayah Wright-Trussel filed the two-count lawsuit Monday in Wayne County Circuit Court against the city, the fire department and fired EMT Ann Marie Thomas, alleging gross negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
The city declined to comment on the pending litigation, which also requests a jury trial, saying they will wait to respond in court.
On May 30, I'Nayah stopped breathing while at her home in the 19000 block of Glastonbury Road. She had been hooked up to an oxygen machine because of complications from a premature birth.
Thomas was less than a mile from the baby's home when she was ordered to respond to the call for help. But instead of rushing to the home, she parked her vehicle, an emergency SUV, around the corner. After sitting there for about six minutes, according to the lawsuit, Thomas called her supervisor and said, "I'm not about to be on no scene 10 minutes doing CPR. You know how these families get."
Thomas finally made it to the home — after a total of 19 minutes and several pleas from dispatch. Another ambulance arrived at the home and rushed I'Nayah to the hospital, where she died the next morning.
Thomas was removed from service following the incident and subsequently filed an appeal. Two separate internal investigations were performed and Thomas was fired at the end of June.
"Thomas refused to respond to a call for service for a baby not breathing for no reason other than not wanting to perform CPR for what she perceived to be an extended period of time," Captain Jerald James wrote in an internal report.
Prosecutors are reviewing the case.
It's possible that Thomas could still face criminal charges; a police investigation is ongoing.
The family is being represented by the Geoffrey Fieger Law Firm.
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