Paralyzed Girl Awarded $172M After FDNY EMS Snafu

A $172 million award has been given to a girl who suffered brain damage while waiting for an ambulance just minutes from a New York City hospital.

The two FNDY EMTs who showed up performed CPR but didn't bring oxygen or a defibrillator with them, according to The New York Times.

And, despite the close proximity of the nearest hospital, the crew told the mother they should wait for a private ambulance to transport.

The award was one of the largest ever in the city, the paper reported.

The private ambulance arrived 20 minutes later. And, those medics gave the girl epinephrine and oxygen before transporting her, trial evidence showed.

The incident that occurred about 16 years ago left the girl aware, but paralyzed and unable to talk.

The medics were held liable for the brain injuries suffered by the patient because they crossed a line by advising the family to wait rather than taking the girl immediately to a hospital,  jurors decided.

The city will appeal.  “While this is a tragic case, we believe that the jury’s verdict is not consistent with the law,” Fay Leoussis, the chief of the tort division in the Law Department, told reporters. 

The Court of Appeals ruled last year that the city’s blanket immunity from lawsuits arising from the performance of normal government functions, like responding to 911 calls, did not apply in this case, according to the account.