7:52 P.M. Editor's Note: The original version of this story, posted at 10:37 A.M. stated that the city of Akron was "off the hook" and could not be included in the lawsuit. Upon further review, it is now realized that while the Ohio Supreme Court did uphold the lower court ruling, that decision was misinterpreted. AkronNewsNow regrets the inaccurate reporting.
The city of Akron could be held at least partially liable in a lawsuit filed over the death of a newborn.
Dan and Andrea Riffle sued the city and a private ambulance company after paramedics determined that vaginal bleeding during Andrea's third trimester of pregnancy wasn't enough for emergency transport. Instead, they called for a private company to transport her to the hospital. Riffle required a c-section, but the baby died three days later.
A Summit County Common Pleas Court judge rejected arguments that the city was immune from the lawsuit, a decision upheld by the 9th District Court of Appeals. The city then appealed to the Ohio Supreme Court, which upheld the decision by the lower-level appeals court. The city of Akron can, in fact, be included in the lawsuit.
From the Ohio Supreme Court decision: "A political subdivision is not liable for injury arising out of actions taken by first responders in the course of providing emergency medical services, unless those services are provided in a manner that constitutes willful or wanton misconduct. Here, the complaint alleges that city of Akron medical-emergency personnel wantonly caused injuries to the Riffles and their unborn child, and it therefore states a claim for which relief may be granted. Accordingly, the judgment of the court of appeals is affirmed.