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$200K settlement tied to alleged neglect by Chicago Fire Department paramedics

A lawsuit filed by the estate of Charlie Myles claims two paramedics sent to the scene when he collapsed in July 2012 left without treating or transporting him. They also didn’t document the ambulance run in the required report.

A lawsuit filed by the estate of a Chicago man alleges the Chicago Fire Department’s Internal Affairs Division sustained allegations that two paramedics failed to follow CFD policies and procedures by “initiating routine medical care” when called after Myles collapsed in the front yard of a West Side home.
Sun-Times file photo

Chicago taxpayers will spend $200,000 to compensate the family of a 55-year-old man who was found dead hours after Chicago Fire Department paramedics dispatched to the West Side home where he collapsed left without treating him.

The latest in a seemingly never-ending parade of costly settlements is on the agenda for Monday’s meeting of the City Council’s Finance Committee.

If approved, it would go to the estate of Charlie Myles, who was found dead on July 6, 2012 in the front yard of a home in the 4100 block of West Adams Street.

A 2019 lawsuit filed by Myles’ estate claims his death was a direct result of negligence by two paramedics dispatched to the scene of his collapse and by the city’s failure to properly supervise them.

The suit contends that, at 3:49 a.m. on July 6, 2012, the city received a 911 call that a 55-year-old male was in the front yard of a home at 4128 W. Adams St. and he was “having problems” and had “just collapsed.”

A pair of paramedics — identified as Bartosz Wozniak and Matthew Adamik — arrived on the scene at 3:50 a.m., saw people on the porch and determined the call “was for the older man, whose eyes were open” and who “appeared to be coherent,” the suit contends.

Adamik “heard Wozniak say something to the people on the porch, but does not know if” they answered his partner before going inside, leaving the older man alone and in need of “assistance to get into the house,” the suit says.

At 4:01 a.m., both paramedics “left the scene without examining” or “initiating patient care to Charlie Myles,” the suit contends.

Compounding the alleged neglect, the two paramedics “failed to document the July 6, 2012 dispatch call to the scene in any way, including on an approved Chicago EMS system run report or Mobile Reporting Unit report.”

At 9:06 a.m. on the same day, the city received another 911 call requesting an ambulance at the same address. Two different paramedics responded to the call and found Myles dead, the suit contends.

Matthew Ports, an attorney representing the Myles family, could not be reached for comment on the proposed settlement.

His lawsuit contends the Chicago Fire Department’s Internal Affairs Division investigated the call and “sustained” allegations that Wozniak and Adamik “failed to follow” CFD policies and procedures by “initiating routine medical care” and completing the required forms to document the ambulance run.

“Both were inattentive and negligent in their duties for failing to obtain a refusal or refusal of all services on the MRU and telemetry,” the lawsuit states.

The internal investigation of Wozniak and Adamik that followed the death of Charlie Myles “led to a review of six prior shifts that determined that a great number” of ambulance run reports on those calls “did not exist,” the suit contends.

“No run report means that the defendants may have failed to provide appropriate patient care on those runs and that both paramedics should be taken out of service immediately and disciplined further,” the suit contends.

“The complaint was also investigated by the Chicago West EMS System Medical Director and Coordinator Joseph Weber, M.D. , who wrote that Wozniak’s and Adamik’s ‘continued participation poses an imminent threat to patients.’”

Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford said both paramedics served suspensions in connection with the incident. It was not known whether either or both remain on the job.

The lawsuit claims the city was “willful and wanton in their supervision” of the paramedics for failing to supervise their patient care, failure to review their run reports to ensure patient safety and failing to learn that they were “consistently failing to create and submit” the required reports.