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Maryland family sues sheriff's office for wrongful death

The family of a Baptist minister who died in November 2011 has filed a wrongful death suit against the county sheriff's office and a sheriff's deputy. Allegedly, the deputy ordered a neighbor to stop performing CPR on the man, who was in cardiac arrest, which directly contributed to the man's death.

According to the suit, a neighbor found the minister lying on the ground near his home and immediately began CPR. When the sheriff's deputy arrived on the scene, he told the neighbor to stop his efforts to resuscitate the man, despite the fact that paramedics had no yet arrived. The suit claims that the minister was "responding favorably to CPR, was breathing and regaining color," according to witnesses. He was eventually transported to a medical center where he died. The suit alleges that if CPR had been continued until emergency medical personnel arrived on the scene, the man would have lived.

The family is seeking damages on multiple counts: wrongful death, alleged negligence by the deputy and by the sheriff's office for hiring him and failing to appropriately instruct the deputy in regards to emergency medical attention. It remains unknown why the deputy ordered the cessation of CPR.

The public trusts in the police, fire, and medical emergency crews to protect and serve them: In cases of negligence by emergency personnel, the results are very disturbing. If it can be proved that the deputy was improperly trained and that CPR would have been enough medical attention at the time to prevent death, the family could stand to win the suit.

Source: explorehartford, "Family files wrongful death suit against sheriff's office, deputy," Allen Vought, Aug. 14, 2012

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