Friday 20 January 2017

Paramedic sues over his colleague's death

Tim Healy

Published 03/03/2016 | 02:30

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A paramedic told a court how his lifelong friend was killed when he fell out the side door of an ambulance as they transported a patient.

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PJ Cahill was driving the ambulance on the Cavan to Dublin Road when he heard a thud and looked in a mirror to see his 43-year old friend - father of six Simon Sexton - hit the ground.

Mr Cahill (50), from Kilnagarbet, Stradone, Co Cavan, has launched a High Court action for nervous shock as a result of witnessing the accident. He jammed on the brakes and ran back to find Mr Sexton lying face down near the grassy verge.

Three years ago, the HSE was fined €500,000 for health and safety breaches as a result of the paramedic's death in June 2010.

Mr Cahill's counsel, Frank Callanan, said the case would centre on the side door of the vehicle. Mr Sexton had seen a crack of light at the top of the side door and went to secure it, as the ambulance was moving with a patient and a nurse in the back as well, counsel said.

The side door of the ambulance did not open in the direction of forward travel and that was the immediate cause of the death of Mr Sexton, he said.

Mr Cahill said he grabbed the resuscitation bag and "started resuscitation and kept it going until the (second) ambulance arrived". He travelled in that ambulance, attempting to resuscitate Mr Sexton until they reached Cavan General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly afterwards.

The claims are denied by both defendants, the HSE and the German manufacturer of the ambulance, Wietmarscher Ambulanz Und Sonderf Ahrzeug GMBH.

The case continues.

Irish Independent

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