Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Local News

May 14, 2014

City settles wrongful death suit

Settlement reached between Lockport and estate of Jeanette A. Lombardi


Lockport Union-Sun & Journal —

According to the a Supreme Court filing by Mrs. Lombardi's daughter, Beth A. Arajs, Lombardi, 75, died Sept. 20, 2012 after experiencing sudden physical distress. An ambulance was called for her at 11:30 a.m. and by the time a paramedic crew arrived at 11:43 a.m. — from Wrights Corners Volunteer Fire Company, not L.F.D. — she had died.

Autopsy results indicate the cause of Mrs. Lombardi's death was anaphylactic shock, which is an allergic reaction.

The Lombardi suit, filed July 3 of last year, alleged the city failed to deliver a quick response that could have saved her life.

But according to L.F.D., when city dispatch received the ambulance call, both of the department's ambulances reportedly were in use, one on an out-of-town transport and the other in a training exercise at VanDeMark Chemical. Local dispatch contacted Niagara County Central Dispatch and invoked "mutual aid," meaning a request for service from the closest non-city company.

There is some question whether one of the city ambulances was in fact available, as sources at the time told the US&J that the training exercise was in fact over when the 911 call came in and a second departmental standard operating procedure, concerning how to handle 911 calls when ambulances are occupied, also was violated. The Fire Board looked into the alleged violations and never recommended any discipline.

Contact reporter Joe Olenick at 439-9222, ext. 6241 or follow him on Twitter @joeolenick.

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