Bellingham City Council Votes to Settle Federal Lawsuit Filed by Wife of Dead Man Who Was Intubated
As reported by the Bellinghamherald.com, on Monday, August 24, 2020, the Bellingham City Council voted unanimously to authorize the mayor to settle a federal lawsuit filed by Jai Ginn, the wife of Bradley Ginn Sr. who died on the way to the hospital on July 31, 2018. The man’s body was used to practice endotracheal intubations for training purposes by 11 Bellingham firefighters without authorization from the family. In addition to the lack of consent, Ginn Sr. had a valid do not resuscitate order, which made it clear that he did not want life-saving measures such as intubation to be performed.
Personal injury lawsuits filed
The family initially sued the city in October, 2018 for more than $15.5 million in damages in three separate personal injury claims. In late November, Jai’s lawsuit was thrown out but the other two suits filed by their children were settled for $75,000 each. On August 1, 2019, Jai filed a federal lawsuit in the Western District of Washington in Seattle alleging that the city of Bellingham, fire department employees and Whatcom County’s Medical Program Director Marvin Wayne violated her civil rights to due process and for “tortious interference with a dead body.” The lawsuit sought to recover both personal and punitive damages.
Bellingham City Council votes to settle Federal lawsuit for dead man who was intubated
The Bellingham City Council has voted to settle the lawsuit brought by to Jai Ginn, the wife of Bradley Ginn Sr., for $175,000 and dismiss all claims related to it. In the lawsuit, Ginn claimed that she has suffered “severe emotional distress” and that her “life is forever changed” because of what was done to her husband’s body. Jai and Ginn Sr. were married for 34 years.
Were posthumous tube-checks an accepted practice for Bellingham Fire paramedics?
A report by Seattle attorney Sarah I. Hale exposed that “tube checks” were an accepted practice for Bellingham Fire paramedics that was used to meet recertification requirements for their licenses for at least the past 25 years. The way it worked was after a patient died, the paramedics would take out breathing tubes and quickly re-insert them to practice the procedure. The report also revealed that these “tube checks” were mostly performed when the deaths weren’t very likely to be reviewed by the medical examiner.
As part of his lawsuit, Ginn Jr. asked for the policy to be changed. Bellingham Fire chief, Bill Newbold, announced in early October, 2018 that the department would no longer allow the practice of tube checking after a patient had been pronounced dead and that any further procedures may only be provided with the consent of next of kin or (durable power of attorney). A policy was also updated by EMS Division Chief Scott Rykman and Assistant Chief Jay Comfort for what happens when a patient dies in an ambulance.
Seek the help of a personal injury attorney
If you or a loved one was injured because of the negligence of another, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal rights. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times larger with the help of a lawyer. Call the personal injury lawyers at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!