Man Who Was Mistakenly Administered Lidocaine During EMS Transport From Greenway Farm Files $300,000 Suit

  • Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A man who was mistakenly administered Lidocaine during an EMS transport is suing Hamilton County and Hamilton County EMS for $300,000.

Melvin Davis filed the lawsuit in Circuit Court.

It says he was hiking at Greenway Farm in Hixson on Sept. 8, 2010, when his ankle became entangled in a ropes course.

An ambulance was summoned and he was administered the Lidocaine - instead of saline solution - by paramedic Tim Waldo during the transport, according to the suit filed by attorney Eric Oliver.

It says that sent him into cardiac arrest and caused a number of other health issues and that a team of doctors at the emergency room had to revive him.

The suit says paramedic Waldo initially denied administering the Lidocaine, but later his license was placed on a year's probation by the Tennessee Board of Emergency Medical Services after he admitted the mistake.

Here is the complaint:

IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF HAMILTON COUNTY, TENNESSEE

MELVIN DAVIS,

Plaintiff,

DOCKET NO. ____________

DIVISION _______________

1) HAMILTON COUNTY, TENNESSEE;
and
2) HAMILTON COUNTY E.M.S.,

Defendants.

)
COMPLAINT

Comes the Plaintiff, Melvin Davis, and for cause of action against the above-named

Defendants would show as follows:

This is a Tennessee Governmental Tort Liability Negligence Action.

The Plaintiff is a resident of West Harrison, Indiana, residing at 6080 St. Peters

Road, West Harrison, Indiana 47060.

Defendant, HAMILTON COUNTY, TENNESSEE, is a political subdivision

of the State of Tennessee and is subject to suit in this Court pursuant to the Tennessee

Governmental Tort Liability Act §29-20-101 et seq.

HAMILTON COUNTY E.M.S. was established and formed by Hamilton County,

Tennessee to provide ambulance and emergency medical services to individuals throughout

Hamilton County, Tennessee.

Defendant, HAMILTON COUNTY E.M.S. is an agent and entity under the

direct control of Hamilton County, Tennessee and is subject to suit in this Court pursuant to the

Tennessee Governmental Tor Liability Act §29-20-101 et seq. The current business address of

HAMILTON COUNTY E.M.S., is 317 Oak Street, Suite #316, Chattanooga, Tennessee 37403.

On September 8, 2011, and at all material times alleged herein, paramedic

Timothy Waldo was an employee of Hamilton County, Tennessee and/or Hamilton County

The acts and omissions complained of herein occurred in Hamilton County,

Tennessee. This Court has subject matter jurisdiction over this action and personal jurisdiction

over the parties.

Venue is properly situated before this Court.

The Plaintiff has complied with T.C.A. §29-26-121(a) by having

mailed by certified mail, notice of the claim to Defendant HAMILTON COUNTY,

TENNESSEE, at the address for the agent for service of process and the provider’s current

business address, all of which is evidenced by the attached Affidavits of Kristi M. McElroy

which state that such actions occurred, showing that notice was sent by certified mail to

Defendant HAMILTON COUNTY, TENNESSEE on June 20, 2012. The Affidavits of Kristi

M. McElroy and exhibits are attached as collective Exhibit A and incorporated herein by

reference. A copy of the notice mailed is attached to the Affidavits of Kristi M. McElroy. The

Certificate of Mailing from the U.S. Postal Service, stamped with the date of mailing is attached

to the Affidavits of Kristi M. McElroy, establishing that the specified notice was timely mailed

by certified mail, return receipt requested. A copy of the notice sent is attached to the Affidavits

of Kristi M. McElroy. The requirements of T.C.A. §29-26-121(a) have been satisfied with

respect to Defendant HAMILTON COUNTY, TENNESSEE.

The Plaintiff has complied with T.C.A. §29-26-121(a) by having

mailed by certified mail, notice of the claim to Defendant HAMILTON COUNTY EMS, at the

address for the agent for service of process and the provider’s current business address, all of

which is evidenced by the attached Affidavits of Kristi M. McElroy which state that such actions

occurred, showing that notice was sent by certified mail to Defendant HAMILTON COUNTY

EMS on June 20, 2012. The Affidavits of Kristi M. McElroy and exhibits are attached as

collective Exhibit B and incorporated herein by reference. A copy of the notice mailed is

attached to the Affidavits of Kristi M. McElroy. The Certificate of Mailing from the U.S. Postal

Service, stamped with the date of mailing is attached to the Affidavits of Kristi M. McElroy,

establishing that the specified notice was timely mailed by certified mail, return receipt

requested. A copy of the notice sent is attached to the Affidavits of Kristi M. McElroy. The

requirements of T.C.A. §29-26-121(a) have been satisfied with respect to Defendant

HAMILTON COUNTY EMS.

Moreover, the Plaintiff has complied with the notice requirements of T.C.A. §29-

26-121(a) by providing the named Defendants with personal service of the statutory written

notice by personal delivery as evidenced by the Affidavits attached as Exhibit C.

The Plaintiff timely complied with all of the notice requirements of T.C.A. §29-

26-121 by giving notice and the documents required by T.C.A. §29-26-121 to Defendants

HAMILTON COUNTY, TENNESSEE and HAMILTON COUNTY EMS more than sixty (60)

days before the filing of this Complaint.

HAMILTON COUNTY, TENNESSEE is liable in this case for the negligence

of its employees, and agents, including Paramedic Timothy Waldo, pursuant to the doctrines

of respondeat superior, apparent and ostensible agency and master servant.

HAMILTON COUNTY, TENNESSEE is vicariously liable for the negligence set forth herein

of paramedic Timothy Waldo and the employees and agents of HAMILTON COUNTY,

TENNESSEE who provided care to Melvin Davis on September 8, 2011, pursuant to the above-

referenced doctrines.

HAMILTON COUNTY EMS is liable in this case for the negligence of its

employees, and agents, including Paramedic Timothy Waldo, pursuant to the doctrines

of respondeat superior, apparent and ostensible agency and master servant.

HAMILTON COUNTY EMS is vicariously liable for the negligence set forth herein of

paramedic Timothy Waldo and the employees and agents of HAMILTON COUNTY EMS

who provided care to Melvin Davis on September 8, 2011, pursuant to the above-referenced

Paramedic Timothy Waldo was an agent and/or employee of Hamilton County,

Tennessee and/or Hamilton County EMS on September 8, 2011, at all times paramedic Waldo

provided emergency medical services to Plaintiff Melvin Davis.

Melvin Davis was born on April 6, 1954. He was 57 years old at the time he was

transported by Hamilton County EMS to Erlanger Hospital emergency room on September 8,

Mr. Davis was hiking in Hamilton County, Tennessee, at Greenway Farms, on

September 6, 2011.

During the hike, Mr. Davis encountered a ropes course and somehow got entangle

in one of the ropes. He was trapped, hanging from his right ankle.

Another hiker discovered Mr. Davis on September 8, 2011, and called 911.

Mr. Davis was able to provide his own history and was oriented to time and place

when he was found.

During his EMS transport, in an effort to rehydrate him, Mr. Davis was given

normal saline via an IV by paramedic Timothy Waldo, an employee of Hamilton County EMS.

He also received, by mistake, approximately a 500ml bag of Lidocaine which was

hung during his transport by paramedic Waldo and run wide open until the end of his transport.

Upon his arrival at Erlanger Hospital, Mr. Davis became acutely unstable and

went into cardiac arrest just as he was being brought into the trauma bay.

Mr. Davis underwent several minutes of ACLS resuscitation by the emergency

department physician staff at Erlanger Hospital and ultimately was resuscitated.

During his EMS transport, Mr. Davis’ complaints were right ankle pain and

dehydration.

As a result of the negligent administration of Lidocaine by paramedic Waldo, Mr.

Davis went into cardiac arrest due to Lidocaine toxicity. Mr. Davis suffered from the following

medical conditions and incurred the following services and charges related solely to the

negligent administration of Lidocaine:

a. Cardiac arrest secondary to Lidocaine administration requiring hypothermia

protocol and supportive care;

b. Acute respiratory failure requiring mechanical ventilation;

c. Bilateral pneumothoraxes secondary to CPR to place bilateral chest tubes;

d. Severe subcutaneous emphysema secondary to CPR;

e. Subcutaneous emphysema secondary to advanced cardiac life support

resuscitation;

f. His acute kidney injury was secondary to myoglobinuria secondary to

rhabdomyolysis but was exaserbated by acute tubular necrosis secondary to

hypotension; and

g. Acute transaminase elevation secondary to shocked liver.

The standard of care required paramedic Waldo to provide Mr. Davis with the

correct medications and medical solutions Mr. Davis needed.

Paramedic Waldo violated the applicable standard of care for paramedics in the

Chattanooga, Tennessee community or similar communities in September of 2011, by giving Mr.

Davis Lidocaine.

Paramedic Waldo admitted in an Agreed Order with the Tennessee Board of

Emergency Medical Services (signed on March 5, 2012 by paramedic Waldo) that providing

Melvin Davis with Lidocaine constituted “[g]ross malpractice or negligence or a pattern of

continued or repeated malpractice, ignorance, negligence or incompetence in the provision of

emergency care.”

At the emergency room the attending physician questioned why there was an

empty bag of Lidocaine premix hanging on the patient. Paramedic Waldo “denied knowledge

regarding how [Mr. Davis] received Lidocaine rather than an IV of saline.”

Tennessee Board of Emergency Medical Services, paramedic Waldo admitted that this denial

amounted to “[f]ailure to report pertinent care which accurately reflects the evaluation and

treatment of each patient.”

Paramedic Waldo’s license was placed on probation for one (1) year by the

Tennessee Board of Emergency Medical Services as a result of giving Mr. Davis Lidocaine.

32.

standard of care as set forth herein and at trial, Mr. Davis sustained injuries and damages which

would not have otherwise occurred.

33.

hospitalization related to his dehydration and ankle injury and would not have required more

than 1-2 days of intensive care unit level care. Most of the medical care Mr. Davis received

at Erlanger was related to the administration of Lidocaine and the consequences of Mr. Davis

receiving the Lidocaine. He was required to see specialists he would not have otherwise required

but for paramedic Waldo’s negligence and he has incurred nearly $100,000 in medical expenses

related directly to the negligence of paramedic Waldo.

34. As a direct and proximate legal result of the negligence of the Defendants’ employee/

agent set forth above and at trial, Melvin Davis suffered bodily injuries, incurred substantial

expenses for medical care, suffered emotional anguish, pain and suffering and has suffered a loss

of capacity for enjoyment of life and loss of earnings and earning capacity. Some of Plaintiff’s

losses are permanent and Plaintiff will continue to suffer the losses in the future. Defendants are

liable to Plaintiff as a result of the negligence stated herein and shown at trial.

35. The statutory violations admitted to by Paramedic Waldo constitute negligence per

se or as a matter of law and were the sole and direct proximate cause of Plaintiff’s injuries.

Specifically, paramedic Waldo admitted to violating T.C.A. §68-140-34(a)(1), (5) and (13) and

those violations amount to negligence per se.

36. A Certificate of Good Faith in proper form as required by T.C.A. §29-26-122 has

been filed with this Complaint.

As a direct and proximate result of paramedic Waldo’s violations from the

Mr. Davis, more likely than not, would have only required 5-6 days of

WHEREFORE, the Plaintiff, Melvin Davis, demands a judgment from the Defendants in

the amount of the statutory maximum of $300,000.00 under §29-20-403 or the policy limits of

any insurance coverage available for the negligence of Hamilton County EMS employees under

T.C.A. §29-20-311 , whichever is greater, or such other amount as this Court finds to be fair and

reasonable. Plaintiff also seeks court costs and discretionary costs from the Defendants.

Respectfully submitted,

LEWIS & OLIVER

By:

_______
ERIC J. OLIVER, BPR 17509
736 Georgia Avenue, Suite 500
Chattanooga, TN 37402
Telephone (423) 756-8203
Facsimile (423) 756-2233
Attorney for the Plaintiff

Breaking News
Latest Hamilton County Arrest Report
  • 5/21/2024

Here is the latest Hamilton County arrest report. (If your case is dismissed, just email us your name and date we ran it and we will promptly take off. Email to news@chattanoogan.com ) BAKER, ... more

Wanted Fugitive Taken Into Custody After Tense Standoff
  • 5/20/2024

The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Warrants Unit was involved in a manhunt and tense standoff that ended with the suspect in custody on Monday. The manhunt was for a wanted suspect ... more

Sheriff's Office Involved In 3 Separate Pursuits During The Weekend In Chattanooga
Sheriff's Office Involved In 3 Separate Pursuits During The Weekend In Chattanooga
  • 5/20/2024

Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office deputies were involved in three separate pursuits throughout different areas within the City of Chattanooga. The first pursuit occurred on Saturday, at approximately ... more