Feb. 27--The wife and daughter of an Old Forge man who suffered heart failure pleaded with a paramedic to continue life saving efforts, but he refused.
Phillip Pizano, a medic with Pennsylvania Ambulance LLC, was convinced 62-year-old Garrett Boynosky was dead and nothing more could be done, attorneys for Boynosky's wife, Julianne, and the ambulance company agree.
They disagree over whether that decision ultimately led to Boynosky's death.
Opening statements in a civil lawsuit Julianne Boynosky filed against the Dunmore ambulance company began Monday in Lackawanna County Court.
Edward Ciarimboli,attorney for Julianne Boynosky, said the evidence will show Pizano violated multiple regulations when he allegedly ordered an Old Forge police officer who was first to arrive to stop cardiopulmonary resuscitation on Boynosky, who was found unresponsive in his basement at 7:21 p.m. Jan. 25, 2016.
"Precious life saving minutes passed while the paramedic told the family and police Garrett Boynosky was dead and asked (his daughter) what funeral home she wanted to call," Ciarimboli said.
Boynosky was not dead, however, Ciarimboli told jurors. A second crew from Pennsylvania Ambulance arrived at 7:25 p.m. and restarted chest compressions. They obtained a stable pulse within minutes, but the delay in treatment led to Boynosky's death three days later.
Fred Buck, attorney for Pennsylvania Ambulance, said Pizano denies he ordered police to stop CPR -- an issue disputed by the officer and the Boynoskys. Even if that's true, the company acknowledges Pizano violated other regulations, including failing to administer drugs that could have restarted Boynosky's heart, he said.
Buck said those errors didn't matter, however, as evidence will show Boynosky had already suffered irreversible brain damage by the time Pizano arrived.
The case centers on how long it was before Boynosky was found. Experts agree irreversible brain damage occurs within five minutes after a person stops breathing, he said.
Buck said Garrett Boynosky's pupils were fixed and dilated when Pizano arrived, which indicates brain damage had already occurred.
"There is no possibility he could have been revived, even with the best medical care in the world," he said.
Testimony in the trial before Judge Margaret Bisignani Moyle will continue today.
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