May trial scheduled for Doddridge EMS suit

CLARKSBURG – A paramedic’s personal injury suit against a Doddridge County ambulance service is slated for trial late next spring. Harrison Circuit Judge Thomas A. Bedell on July 9 set May 28, 2013, for trial to begin in the case of Joseph G. Sadie v. Doddridge County Emergency Squad, Inc. Also, Bedell scheduled, among other things, the previous Tuesday for a pre-trial conference. In his complaint filed March 1, Sadie alleges he was injured last year when an ambulance driven by Jason Leasure collided with another vehicle in route to United Hospital in Clarksburg. The collision caused the ambulance to overturn resulting in not only Sadie’s injuries, but also the subsequent death of the patient. According to the suit, Leasure responded to a 911 call on Oct. 2, 2011 to transport William Wiseman to United. The suit does not specify Wiseman’s location in Doddridge County. Believing he may need an advanced life support system which required the assistance of a paramedic, Leasure, an emergency medical technician, called the 911 center and requested any on-duty Doddridge County Ambulance Authority paramedic provide him the needed assistance. At a time not specified, Sadie met Leasure, and accompanied him to Clarksburg. According to the suit, Sadie began treating Wiseman. After stabilizing him, Sadie “communicated his vital signs and other information to the trauma team at United Hospital.” However, the ambulance failed to make it to United as at a time not specified Leasure collided with another vehicle at the intersection of U.S. 50 East and the Interstate 79 South off ramp. The resulting collision caused the ambulance to overturn and slide nearly 100 yards. According to the suit, the collision also resulted in Wiseman’s death. In his suit, Sadie accused Leasure, who is named as a co-defendant, of negligently operating the ambulance. Specifically, he accused Leasure of, among other things, “[s]peeding or operating the emergency vehicle at a speed in excess of the conditions then existing…[f]ailing to keep a proper lookout and [o]perating the emergency vehicle in reckless disregard for the safety of others.” Also, Sadie accused DCEMS of not only failing to properly train and educate Leasure on the proper operation of an ambulance, but also have the necessary equipment available to treat patients. As a result of his injuries, Sadie maintains he’s incurred, among other things, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, medical and health care bills and a diminished capacity to earn. Just over a month later, DCEMS and Leasure filed their answer to Sadie’s suit. Though they admitted to most of the allegations including the ambulance overturning following a collision, DCEMS and Leasure denied it was in any way their fault. Instead, they place the blame on Benjamin Gear, the driver of the vehicle Leasure collided with, and named him as a third-party defendant. In his answer filed April 16, Gear admitted only to being involved in collision, and a resident of Clarksburg. He denied any responsibility for Sadie’s injuries, and filed a cross claim against DCEMS and Leasure. Sadie is represented by Wheeling attorney Donald J. Tennant Jr., DCEMS and Leasure by Melvin F. O’Brien and Keith R. Huntzinger with Dickie, McCamey and Chilcote’s Wheeling office and Gear by D. Andrew McMunn with Smith, McMunn and Glover in Clarksburg. Harrison Circuit Court case number 12-C-101

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