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Thomas Moore: Jury awards $172M to woman after botched 911 call

By Julia Marsh, NY Post May 28, 2014 | 8:41pm

A Bronx jury awarded a whopping $172 million verdict to a 29-year-old woman who was severely handicapped after the city botched a routine 911 call, The Post has learned.
The award is one of the largest of its type in New York State history, attorney Thomas Moore said.
Twelve-year-old Tiffany Applewhite was having difficulty breathing at her Williamsbridge home after a nurse administered a shot for an eye condition in 1998.
Her mother called 911 and the ambulance arrived just six minutes later, but the two EMTs who responded failed to bring necessary equipment out of the vehicle and up to the fifth floor apartment.
The misstep was a violation of the workers’ protocol and “pivotal in Tiffany’s injuries,” Moore said.
When Applewhite went into cardiac arrest, her desperate mother asked the responders to rush her to nearby Montefiore Medical Center.
But the EMTs told her they had to wait for a special ambulance to transport the struggling child.
Unbeknownst to Mrs. Applewhite they had not yet called for backup and help did not arrive for 20 more minutes, Moore said.
As a result of the delay Applewhite suffered brain damage and cannot walk or talk.
“While this is a tragic case, we believe that the jury’s verdict is not consistent with the law. The city will appeal,” said De Blasio administration attorney Fay Leoussis.
“This was a tragedy that never should have happened,” Moore said.
“This poor child could have been treated and saved had the EMT workers simply followed” city protocol, Moore added.
“Instead this woman is a prisoner in her own body,” Moore said.
The award came down on Wednesday—about a week after Mayor Bill de Blasio ordered a review of the city’s beleaguered emergency response system.
Moore said the five-man, one-woman jury deliberated for two days following a three-week trial.
The jurors found the city was responsible for the now 29-year-old woman’s life-altering injuries because the EMS workers failed to perform their most basic duties including using a defibrillator, Moore said.
The case took 16 years to go to trial due to multiple appeals, Moore said.

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