Max Schramel Sep. 25, 2014, 5:53pm


NEW ORLEANS – A man who claims he was instructed to pop a “wheelie” and subsequently was injured after falling out of his wheelchair is suing an ambulance service.

Larry Collier Sr. filed suit against Acadian Ambulance Service Inc. and its insurer in the Orleans Parish Civil District Court on Aug. 5.

Collier Sr., a 59-year-old paraplegic, claims that on Aug. 6, 2013, he was scheduled to be transported via Acadian to his doctor’s appointment at the Veterans Administration Hospital. Normally, the same two male paramedics assisted Collier Sr., however, a new male paramedic replaced one of the former ones on this day.

Between 9 and 9:30 a.m. on Aug. 6, 2013, Acadian personnel allegedly arrived at Collier Sr.’s residence, located at 7001 Bundy Road in New Orleans, for transport. In the past, two regular paramedics would follow the same procedure, instructing the petitioner to pop a “wheelie,” in order to cross the threshold at the entrance of the plaintiff’s apartment.

Upon arriving, the regular paramedic proceeded to go in front of the petitioner’s wheelchair while the new paramedic was instructed to go behind. The regular paramedic then gave Collier Sr. the okay to pop a “wheelie” as he usually instructed, however, the new male paramedic failed to secure the handles of the petitioner’s wheelchair, causing him to slip backwards and fall out of his wheelchair, resulting in severe personal injuries.

The plaintiff contends he suffered from debilitating back, hip, spinal and head injuries, requiring him to seek emergency and follow-up medical treatment.

The defendants are accused of failing to use ordinary care in its transport of petitioner, to take the necessary precautions and to properly train its paramedics on safe transport.

The plaintiff is seeking an unspecified amount in damages for pain and suffering, mental anguish, medical expenses and loss of enjoyment of life.

The plaintiff is represented by Mark R. Wolfe of Wolfe, Begoun & Pick LLC.

The case has been assigned to Div. J Judge Paula A. Brown.

Case no. 2014-07652.

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