SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (FOX 2) - A lawsuit has been announced again after Southfield EMS Paramedics falsely declared a 20-year-old woma dead this summer. The $50 million suit was filed Thursday by well-known attorney Geoffrey Fieger.
The suit says because of the false declaration, Timesha Beauchamp was left without much-needed oxygen for hours, ultimately placed in a body bag and transported to a funeral home. As the funeral home unzipped the body bag to prepare Timesha for embalming, they discovered her eyes were open, she was breathing and very much alive.
“The State of Michigan has suspended the licenses of the EMS employees involved. All the telemetry evidence shows that Timesha was alive when EMS declared her dead. As a result of being declared dead, she was left without oxygen for 4 hours, suffering severe hypoxic brain damage. Timesha has been hospitalized since these events and remains in critical condition. All of this could have been avoided, had more care been taken," Fieger said in a news release announcing the lawsuit.
The lawsuit alleging violation of civil rights was filed in the Federal Court for the Eastern District of Michigan and assigned to Judge Arthur J. Tarnow for trial by jury. A State complaint will also likely be filed in the near future.
When paramedics arrived on Aug. 23, they determined the 20-year-old wasn't breathing and performed CPR and other life-reviving methods for 30 minutes. "Given medical readings and the condition of the patient, it was determined at that time that she did not have signs of life," read a statement from the Southfield Fire Department.
Fire Chief Johnny Menifee said the firefighters checked three different times for vital signs but none of them showed any signs of life.
"They checked her vital signs on three separate occasions, each time Ms. Beauchamp didn't show any signs of life," Menifee said. "At each intersection with medical science, our paramedics and the patient showed no signs of life."
Manifee said the firefighters feel terrible about what happened and were placed on leave.
Since then, the licenses of those involved were suspended, but those paramedics and EMTs have also sued to keep those licenses.