"Meyerkord and Meyerkord, a Legacy of Legal Innovation"
Every now and then, trial lawyers are able to participate in making new laws by winning cases on appeal; when that happens, it creates precedent that can be relied on in future cases. Some personal injury attorneys don't get the chance to do this often because they don't care for the appeals process: they either settle your case quickly, or they get out.
Meyerkord & Meyerkord isn't one of those firms. We're dedicated to our clients from the first day till the last, doing everything possible to resolve our clients' cases favorably, whether by settling, going to trial, or appealing. As a result, our firm recently got the chance to help make new law which will help personal injury victims in Missouri for years to come.
The case we won on appeal involved publicly-employed emergency responders (EMTs) who responded to a call for help from a man they thought was suffering from acid reflux. In truth, the man was suffering from a heart attack, which killed him the next day.
Normally, the EMTs would have been covered by official immunity. Official immunity is a theory that holds public employees, while acting officially, can't be sued for their actions (except under very limited circumstances). This means that negligent EMTs employed in the public sector, who can often be the most important first-step health care providers a patient sees, can almost never be held liable for personal injuries their negligence causes.
Now, because of a case our attorneys won on appeal, that rule has changed: publicly-employed EMTs are protected by official immunity only if they're acting in the scope of a true emergency. A "true emergency" means one which is rapidly evolving and in which medical responders have very limited information. On the other hand, if the situation is stable and responders have plenty of information, yet make a mistake anyway, they can now be held accountable for it by victims of their negligence.
This new law means that publicly-employed EMTs must act with the same skill and ability as EMTs in the private sector, because they're now subject to the same laws of liability. The case is an important step in negligence victims' rights, especially the right to competent medical care from first responders, and our firm is proud to have helped create that law.
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