SOUTHFIELD (WXYZ) — Two firefighter-paramedics and two firefighter-EMTs who work for the Southfield Fire Department have filed a lawsuit against the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Oakland County Medical Control Authority over action taken against the four of them in connection to the case involving Timesha Beauchamp.
- Timeline reveals moments leading up to Southfield woman falsely pronounced dead
- State suspends licenses of paramedics connected to Southfield woman falsely pronounced dead
On Aug. 23, Beauchamp was having a medical emergency at her home when her family called 911.
Michael Storms and Scott Rickard, both firefighters and paramedics, and Phillip Mulligan and Jake Kroll, both firefighters and EMTs, responded and were involved in what they believed were attempts to save the 20-year-old woman with cerebral palsy.
Despite loved ones alerting the crew that they believed Beauchamp was still alive, she was still declared dead.
Hours later at the funeral home is where a worker who was about to embalm Beauchamp realized she was alive.
Beauchamp was rushed to Sinai Grace Hospital where she remains in critical condition.
Storms, Rickard, Mulligan, and Kroll were placed on paid administrative leave. And it didn't take long for state officials with the Bureau of EMS, Trauma and Preparedness and the Oakland County Medical Control Authority - which oversees EMS services in the county - to suspend the paramedic licenses of Storms and Rickard.
Mulligan and Kroll were also notified that the boards intended to suspend their EMT licenses.
All four paramedics and EMTs are now plaintiffs on a lawsuit filed by attorney Kali M.L. Henderson in which it's alleged that there was a rush to judgment and that members of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and the Oakland County Medical Control Authority (OCMCA) violated their rights to due process and failed to give them the chance to explain and defend their actions.
"MDHHS and the individuals employed by MDHHS, exerted pressure on the OCMCA to act swiftly because MDHHS had already decided that it was going to take action against the Plaintiffs," according to the lawsuit.
The allegations that led to the suspensions of paramedics Storms and Rickard are laid out in the emergency orders to suspend their licenses.
Officials with the City of Southfield said their internal investigation is ongoing, but they have sided with the paramedics and EMTs in saying that the MDHHS and OCMCA have not complied with their own protocols in this case.
Michael Manion, the City of Southfield's Community Relations Director, released the following statement on behalf of their fire department:
The City of Southfield is currently conducting the ongoing Timesha Beauchamp investigation in addition to utilizing outside legal counsel to assist. The City is aware of the suspension of the Southfield Fire Department paramedics. The State of Michigan Department of Health and Human Services' investigation also continues; however, they have not yet provided the City of Southfield with any additional information as requested.
Yesterday, the attorneys for the EMS personnel were forced to file a lawsuit in federal court to compel the Oakland County Medical Control Authority and State of Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to provide their findings and other information previously requested. Additionally, the suit sought to order the Oakland County Medical Control Authority and the State of Michigan Department Health and Human Services Department to comply with their own protocols which have not been followed in this case.
Due to pending litigation and HIPPA compliance, the City will not be able to provide any additional information at this time.