The New York Post has an article detailing a recent lawsuit filed against the City of New York by Staten Islander Yaugeni Kralkin who leapt from an ambulance that was transporting him while he was intoxicated.
The article reports that the lawsuit includes the admission that Kralkin consumed alcohol and was found by the responding EMTs “sitting on the ground, uninjured, with unsteady gait,” according to court papers that were filed. Kralkin supposedly had to be loaded onto the ambulance by the New York City Police Department, then during the transport he was able to unbuckle himself, open the ambulance door, and leap from the moving vehicle. After his leap of faith, he was found unconscious on Richmond Avenue and had suffered multiple facial fractures accompanied by a supposed brain bleed.
The lawyer for Kralkin is quoted as saying, “I think it was a poor choice for him to consume that much alcohol, but as human beings we make poor choices. They failed to care for him, because he was in no state to have any motor skills or make any decisions.”
I would agree with the lawyer that we, as human beings, make poor choices. However I would say that the choices we make, poor or otherwise, are our own and we should be willing to deal with the repercussions. There is nothing in the story to indicate that there was a failure in care.
It think it is important to differentiate that the job of EMTs and Paramedics is to provide patient care and NOT to detain, contrary to the lawyer’s suggestion that the EMT could have stopped him from exiting the vehicle. Had the EMT been hurt, or worse, while detaining Kralkin then they would have argued that he was intoxicated and shouldn’t be held liable for the harm he would have caused to others, similar to the claims of mental illness by the lawyer for Jose Gonzalez who ran over and killed EMT Yadira Arroyo back in March of this year. In this case, he is looking to find someone to hold liable for the harm he did to himself.
Better he injure himself then an EMT or Paramedic suffer an injury, or worse, due to his poor choices. Hopefully the court will find that Kralkin is responsible for his own actions and the city’s underpaid and overworked EMTs and Paramedics owe him nothing more than care IF he wants it… which from all accounts it sounds like he didn’t.