Thursday, October 22, 2009

An eighth woman (deaf) sues ambulance company over paramedic's alleged groping

Source Link - An eighth woman (deaf) sues ambulance company over paramedic's alleged groping

An eighth woman has filed suit against American Medical Response Northwest, claiming a paramedic who had been the subject of previous complaints groped her as she rode in his ambulance.

The woman, who is deaf and largely cannot speak, seeks $1.5 million in damages in a suit filed Tuesday in Multnomah County Circuit Court. She claims that Lannie Haszard touched her on the breasts and in her crotch area for his sexual gratification on Feb. 23, 2007.

Part of the reason she didn't report the incident back then was her disability, but her story has come to light after attorneys contacted her.

Seven other women have sued Portland-based AMR NW and its Denver-based parent company, AMR. As attorneys from the firm Kafoury & McDougal prepared to take their first case to trial this summer, they tracked down 18 other women who had been transported by Haszard from 2004 to 2007 and said he'd acted sexually inappropriately around them, too.

After a month-long trial, the first woman to sue, Royshekka Herring, won $3.25 million from the ambulance company in September. Herring's attorneys accused AMR of continuing to employ a sex predator, despite three previous complaints from female patients about his behavior.

Earlier this month, AMR settled four more lawsuits.

Haszard resigned days after Herring complained to police in December 2007. He was sentenced in August 2008 to five years in prison for molesting four female patients.

At the time the deaf woman says she was abused, AMR had received complaints from one woman who said Haszard appeared sexually excited as he stared when a hospital worker changed her into a gown at the hospital. Another said that Haszard cupped her breasts and ran his hand up her gown and inner thigh.

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