WEIRTON -- An East Liverpool, Ohio, company is seeking a removal to the United States District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia following the wrongful death of a two-year-old boy.
At 1:20 a.m. on Feb. 26, 2006, the McGaffic family of Hancock County called an ambulance because their two-year-old son Erik was experiencing increased shortness of breath and was unable to sleep because of a croupy cough and wheezing. During his treatment and examination at East Liverpool City Hospital, his doctors decided that Erik would be sedated, paralyzed and have a T-tube placed down his throat to intubate him.
When he was released from East Liverpool City Hospital and in the care of Lifeteam EMS, Inc., Erik was diagnosed with "good air movement for being intubated and 100% pulse oximeter. X-Ray did reveal proper placement of the T tube."
Lifeteam EMS was advised by the doctors of East Liverpool City Hospital not to permit Erik to move in any way and if necessary, to immediately give sedation medication. Under no circumstances was Lifeteam EMS to let his T tube come out.
Filed originally by Vincent Gurrera of the Weirton firm of Gurrera Law Offices, the suit states that as Erik was being transported, he began to move and was not given sedation medication. The T tube providing his oxygen came out, and he went into cardiac arrest. When Erik arrived at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, he was declared brain dead. He died Feb. 28, 2006.
In the McGaffic family's suit, filed on April 17, 2008, it accuses Lifeteam EMS as well as the emergency technicians, Nicholas Cresanto, Jamie Hartley, Joseph Burke, and John Does, of being negligent, and the McGaffics were seeking compensation for their suffering, for medical and funeral expenses, and for the injuries and death of Erik.
Filed by Karen Kahle and Michelle Dougherty of the Wheeling on May 20, the suit states that Lifeteam EMS, Cresanto, Hartley, and Burke are seeking a removal to federal court because they are all residents of Ohio and because the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000.