Injured - The FindLaw Accident, Injury and Tort Law Blog

Lawsuit: Mississippi Hospital Liable for Sex Assault by Paramedic

Hospitals, and the medical professionals they employ, are supposed to be the places and people we can turn to for care, cure, and comfort. Sadly, in doesn't always work out that way. Hospitals can make mistakes and their employees can abuse their power to take advantage of vulnerable patients.

That's what happened according to one woman's lawsuit against Baptist Memorial Hospital in Oxford, Mississippi. A Jane Doe claims a paramedic sexually assaulted her in the back of an ambulance while she was suffering from a drug overdose and being transported to the hospital.

Prison-Bound Paramedic

The EMT accused, Bryan Englebert, is now serving at least five years in prison after pleading guilty to the incident. Doe's lawsuit, however, claims the hospital failed to properly train and supervise its employees, and that patient safety policies were inadequate to protect her during the ambulance transport.

Following her arrival at BMH after a drug overdose, Doe was placed on an involuntary 72-hour psychiatric hold due to suicidal thoughts. The hospital then decided to transport her to another behavioral health care facility operated by BMH some 100 miles away. During that trip, according to the lawsuit, Englebert sexually battered and assaulted Doe while the driver, Matthew Austin, videotaped a portion of the assault

Duty-Bound Hospital

Doe is suing MH for negligence, claiming the hospital breached the duty of care it owed to her by failing to have proper procedures in place to protect her during transport, failing to follow the procedures it did have in place, failing to properly staff and monitor ambulance personnel, and failing to protect her during transport. Doe claims she was a "vulnerable adult" with a documented history of mental health issues and was incapacitated during transport, meaning she and the hospital had a special relationship under which the hospital had a duty to protect her.

She is also suing for negligent infliction of emotional distress, alleging significant physical injury, emotional distress, and mental trauma and suffering.

Related Resources: