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  1. #1
    Senior Member crazybird's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Joliet, Il

    Bias led to neglect

    Suit: Bias led to neglect

    September 21, 2007
    BY BEN LEFEBVRE Staff Writer
    CHICAGO -- The mother of a child suffering brain injuries held a press conference with her lawyers Thursday, alleging an anti-immigrant atmosphere in Carpentersville led to paramedics' failure to transport her sick son to the hospital last year.

    In a $30 million lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court in Chicago on Thursday, Gloria Lopez, 28, formerly of Carpentersville, alleges the village government's often racially charged debate over illegal immigration created an atmosphere of discrimination against Hispanics and led paramedics to refuse to take her then 4-month-old son to the hospital last year.

    "I'm not the one making it look like (discrimination)," said Ted Karavidas, the Chicago-based attorney representing Lopez as he stood outside the federal courthouse. "Carpentersville is. They tried to limit services to undocumented people, and they started doing that months before this incident came up. No matter what the paramedics think is going on, they must transport" someone suffering injury.

    Village officials declined to comment on the allegations until they had seen the complaint.

    According to the Karavidas, Lopez, a single mother with no other children, left her son Osbiel at home on Sept. 18, 2006, with an adult baby sitter while she went to work. Around 10:30 a.m., the suit alleges, the baby sitter called Carpentersville 911 complaining that the child was unresponsive and having difficulty breathing.

    When paramedics Diane Graham and Martin Gruber arrived, the suit alleges, they saw that the child was vomiting and in distress but left the home after half an hour without taking Osbiel. Karavidas alleged they indicated to the baby sitter that the child was having ordinary stomach problems, and had her sign a form absolving them from responsibility for transporting the child to the hospital without explaining what the form was.

    The baby sitter didn't speak or read English, Karavidas said, and attempts to call Lopez at the time were unsuccessful.

    By the time the baby sitter called for a second team of paramedics a few hours later, the suit alleges, the child had suffered brain damage due to lack of oxygen.

    Lopez said her child now requires 24-hour nursing care. She alleges Martin, Gruber and the Carpentersville government violated the civil rights of her son, a U.S. citizen, and committed willful negligence.

    In September 2006, village trustees were discussing adopting the Illegal Alien Immigration Relief Act sponsored by Trustees Paul Humpfer and Judith Sigwalt. The proposal, now tabled, would penalize landlords and businesses that aid or abet illegal immigrants. It also would have designated English the official village language, a measure the board passed as a non-binding resolution in June.

    At the press conference, however, representatives of immigration and Hispanic advocacy groups said they thought the illegal immigration debate in Carpentersville created a tension in the village they said might lead to bad decisions being made.

    "I live in Carpentersville," said Carpentersville Community Alliance member Argelino Villagomez. "I can tell you, this used to be a peaceful place to live. But in the past year, they have turned this place into one of fear, paranoia and tragedy."

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  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    This is total bull****. One of the things that will get an EMT's (or any heatlh care provider's) attention the fastest is a report that someone is having trouble breathing. This is why in the ABC's of CPR, A= airway. That is the first thing you check. EMT's deal with all sorts of situations on a daily basis and are typically very good at sorting out what is going on. When they were at the home assessing the child, he probably was not in respiratory distress AT THAT TIME. They also have a portable monitor that can be used to check that the level of oxygen in the blood is sufficient. If the child's condition was stable and the monitor showed good oxygenation, there was no reason to transport him to a hospital. EMT's see enough kids with respiratory problems due to asthma etc. that they are able to quickly determine whether the situation is serious or not. Plus EMT's are in continual contact with supervisors and have access to MDs, it is not like they make a decision whether or not to transport a patient on their own.
    I don't know what happened later on with this kid, it sounds like some sort of infection or sepsis from what I can gather.
    The mother and her handler's charges that the EMT's deliberately failed to bring the child to the hospital because they were discriminating against hispanics is beyond ridiculous and a terrible insult to every health care provider in this country.

  3. #3
    Senior Member crazybird's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Joliet, Il
    I first heard this on the radio this morning and BS was the first thought in my mind as well.......especially with it being an infant. I remember when I had to help that baby with a raging fever and not able to breath from inhaling it's vomit when I was working and trust me.....they don't ask what race someone is or if they are legal or illegal when you call. In my case.....I have a feeling they were illegal because as soon as the baby was breathing again they darted out of the store before the ambulance could come and check the baby.

    They pulled this business when they did that raid out east and tried to say the baby was hospitalized because they didn't release the mom to breast feed. The baby was sick already and breast feeding had nothing to do with it.

    I can't ever think of a time anyone was ever instructed not to help anyone based on race or anything else. Especially an infant. These people are treading on thin ground to make these accusations. This seems like nothing more than wanting to make a quick buck from her own neglect and use "race" as a flimsy excuse. I hope when they get to bottom of this someones able to sue her back for lying like this.
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