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In The Courtroom: What to Do There & How to Stay Out (For Fire, Rescue and EMS)
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In The Courtroom: What to Do There & How to Stay Out (For Fire, Rescue and EMS)

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What situations and behaviors expose EMS providers to the greatest liability? What policies should be in place and how should they be followed? How can you minimize risk for you and your organization? …

What situations and behaviors expose EMS providers to the greatest liability? What policies should be in place and how should they be followed? How can you minimize risk for you and your organization? This presentation discusses EMS liability and litigation using plain language and real-world case studies to help prepare you for the courtroom and, better yet, help keep you out. <legal>

More at www.romduck.com and www.RescueDigest.com


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  • Rear End Pucker Factor
  • Transcript

    • 1. IN THE COURTROOMPRESENTED BY ROMMIE L. DUCKWORTH, LP
    • 2. DISCLAIMER• The presenter is not now and has never been a lawyer.• This presentation does not constitute legal advice.• Attendance at this presentation may cause anxiety, irritation, hair loss and psoriasis of the buttocks.• Presentation includes shared knowledge, experience and practical advice for courtroom presence.• Warranty not valid after 30 minutes
    • 3. What issuesdoes thiscase bringup for you?
    • 4. REPF
    • 5. OBJECTIVES• Documentation• Litigation• Preparation
    • 6. DOCUMENTATION• Your PCR is your sole permanent, complete written record of events during the ambulance call.• Records must “Speak for Themselves”• Can not “Explain Later On”• Sloppy Reports = Sloppy Care• Ongoing care should have ongoing documentation. • Professional • Legible • Accurate • Unaltered • Timely • Complete
    • 7. DOCUMENTATION• CHART • SOAP • Chief complaint • Subjective • History • Objective • Assessment • Assessment • Rx (treatment) • Plan • Transport
    • 8. EMS LITIGATION• 52% Involve Motor Vehicle Accidents • Due Regard & True Emergency!• 40% Involve Non-Transport Decisions • A Proper RMA-AMA• 6% Involve Medical Malpractice • Airway Management• 2% Other
    • 9. AMBULANCE ACCIDENTS• The Problem • Over 6,500 ambulance crashes a year • Injure an estimated 10 people a day • Kill at least two people a month • Due to • Unnecessary speeding, • Insufficient driver training, • Driver exhaustion from long work hours, and • Inadequate dispatch procedures,• According to a four-month Detroit News investigation.• What to do? • A “Safety Priority” Attitude • Formal Training Policies / Program • CEVO / EVOC
    • 10. RMA• Get it on PAPER • Proper (assessment) • Advise (thoroughly) • Persist (multiple providers) • Explain (alternatives) • Refusal (document)
    • 11. CRIMINAL COURT• Rules of Conduct Are Strict• Relevance is Strict• Judge is Present• You are compelled to participate.
    • 12. CIVIL COURT• Rules of Conduct Are Looser• Anyone Can Talk Smack• Judge is Present
    • 13. DEPOSITION• Few Rules• No Judge• Steel Octagonal Cage• They can ask pretty much anything.• You can refuse to answer.• It CAN go to a Judge if necessary.
    • 14. SUPPRESSION HEARING• Fruit of the poison tree• Example:
    • 15. STRATEGY AND TACTICS• If you are a lawyer you… • Protect the person paying you. • Make your witness look brilliant. • Make your opponent’s witness look like idiots.
    • 16. STRATEGY AND TACTICS• Prepare for the Mega-Court• Before Hand • Review the Case • Review the Documentation • Review the Statutes and Protocols • Request reports and transcripts • Speak with counsel • Visit the scene
    • 17. STRATEGY AND TACTICS• During • Be Impartial. State when you don’t know. • Remain friendly. • Remain respectful. • Ask for • A moment to reply • Them to repeat the question • The report to refer to • Know when to shut up: The Pause. • Admit errors.
    • 18. STRATEGY AND TACTICS• Mispronounce your name• Misstate your credentials• Question your license / certification• Misrepresent your report or statements• Dwell on minute points• Overblow the importance
    • 19. STRATEGY AND TACTICS• Place doubt in the mind of…• Distract You.• Interrupt you.• Make you avoid eye contact.• Force you to multitask.• Ask questions multiple ways.
    • 20. STRATEGY AND TACTICS• Question your professionalism• Exploit Discrepancies• Force you to assume or speculate• I don’t know = incompetence• Exploit the Blue Wall• Make derogatory comments.
    • 21. STRATEGY AND TACTICS• Ask technical questions about• Your Protocols.• Your Gear.• Your Laws.• Establish a pattern of errors.• Bring a book.• Wave files around.
    • 22. STRATEGY AND TACTICS• Stay Out• Stay Calm• Stay Consistent• Stay Confident, not cocky• Stay Smart• Stay Informed• Stay Prepared• Stay Up To Date
    • 23. Questions, comments, feedback and to findadditional resources on this and other topics: Find Me At…

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