A jury in Multnomah County, Oregon, has ruled in favor of a woman who was molested by a paramedic while riding to the hospital in an ambulance. The ambulance company, American Medical Response, was accused of having a serial sex offender, Lannie Haszard, on its payroll and for failing to get rid of him. Jurors awarded the Plaintiff $2.25 million in damages for pain and suffering after a month-long trial. Interestingly, the jury did not award punitive damages. But under Oregon law, the award will increase to $3.25 million because the jury decided the Plaintiff was a “vulnerable person” as she lay semi-conscious and, at times, unable to move or speak as the paramedic molested her in December, 2007 while in the ambulance.
In the two years before this paramedic touched this woman inappropriately, three women reported similar behavior by him. The Plaintiff testified that she is afraid to leave home and has had frequent panic attacks. A psychologist testified that the Plaintiff suffers from post traumatic stress disorder. AMR Northwest is owned by a parent company, AMR. Companies that hire medical personnel have a strong duty to do adequate background checks. Individuals must be screened carefully before they are hired. Once hired, a person doing this sort of work must be carefully supervised.
Source: The Oregonian
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