EMT worker claims he was wrongfully fired after punching patient

Kelly Holleran Jan. 25, 2010, 4:12am

A former emergency medical technician has filed suit against his former employer, claiming he was wrongfully fired after he punched a patient in an attempt to calm him.

Jonathan Hayes claims he lost his job at defendant Mission Care of Illinois doing business as Abbott EMS after attempting to medically treat a large patient who was suffering from a seizure on Jan. 17, 2008.

The patient became combative, so Hayes called for police assistance and another ambulance unit, according to the complaint filed Jan. 15 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

Eventually, the patient was placed on a stretcher, but that did not subdue him, the suit states.

"Patient became even more combative, placing himself in harm's way and striking his partner causing him to become dazed," the complaint says. "Even after being touch stunned, patient started striking Plaintiff's supervisor, punching Plaintiff in ribs, and striking his partner."

Several police and EMT attempts to calm the patient were unsuccessful, Hayes claims.

"Plaintiff was required to use force in an attempt to protect himself and his patient from further harm, thus he punched the patient," the suit states. "Plaintiff was wrongfully terminated as for his use of force in his attempt to calm the extremely combative patient who was not responding to police stun guns and drugs."

Because of his termination, Hayes has suffered a loss of hourly wages, health insurance, benefits and seniority, according to the complaint.

Hayes is seeking a judgment of more than $50,000.

He will be represented by Morgan Scroggins of Scroggins Law Office in Granite City.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-20.

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