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State by State: August 2020

CALIFORNIA: Court Gives Preliminary OK to Air Methods Settlement

A California judge has preliminarily approved the $78 million settlement of a lawsuit for unpaid overtime and missed breaks brought by former and current medical employees against Air Methods Corp., the nation’s largest air-medical transport company. Oakland attorney James Sitkin, representing the plaintiffs, says around 450 current and ex-employees will each receive about $100,000 on average. Air Methods also will begin paying daily and weekly overtime to its medical flight crews. This settlement follows an earlier partial settlement of more than $4.2 million in 2018 that covered other claims of off-the-clock work.

FLORIDA: County to Pay $2.75 Million for Medics’ Inaction

Hillsborough County has agreed to a $2.75 million settlement to end a wrongful death lawsuit from the family of a 30-year-old stroke victim who died in 2018 after a county ambulance crew failed to take her vital signs or transport her to a hospital. Nicole Black summoned an ambulance after finding her daughter, Crystle Galloway, passed out on the floor. The lieutenant in charge of the ambulance crew said there was no need to transport Galloway to the hospital and she appeared to have had “too much to drink,” according to the suit. 

WISCONSIN: EMT Student Burned in Alleged Racist Attack

An 18-year-old biracial woman was hospitalized for burns suffered in June following a reported attack Madison police were investigating as a hate crime. Althea Bernstein, an EMT studying at Madison College to be a paramedic and firefighter, said she was driving at approximately 1 a.m. As she stopped for a red light, she heard what she described as college-aged men calling her a racial slur. She told police one of the men sprayed a fluid, which hospital staff believe to have been lighter fluid, on her face and then used a lighter to light her on fire. 

IDAHO: Three Decades Later, Crash Survivor Meets Rescuers

In 1987 Shelley Rowlan Engle survived a serious car crash that killed her friend. In 2020 she finally got to thank her rescuers. “Over those years, I’ve always wondered about the people that came to our rescue that day,” Engle told a reunion of those caregivers in July in Shoshone. “I wanted to thank them.” After years of searching, she connected last year with Jerome Rural Fire Chief Joe Robinette, who helped identify the others Engle sought. About two dozen ultimately gathered for the reunion, along with the crash survivors’ families. 



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