Pa. ambulance company sued over man's death

The family of a man who died from congestive heart failure said he may have lived had two employees not stopped efforts to resuscitate him


The Times-Tribune

DUNMORE, Pa. — An Old Forge man who died from congestive heart failure might have lived had two employees of a Dunmore ambulance company not stopped efforts to resuscitate him, the man’s family says in a lawsuit.

Julianne M. Boynosky alleges employees of Pennsylvania Ambulance LLC, 1000 Dunham Ave., wrongly determined her 62-year-old husband, Garrett A. Boynosky, was dead and ordered police to stop chest compressions. Two other employees from the company who arrived minutes later restored his heartbeat, but the delay in treatment ultimately caused his death, the lawsuit says.The lawsuit, filed Friday on behalf of Mrs. Boynosky and her daughter, Nicole Boynosky, says Mrs. Boynosky discovered her husband unresponsive in the basement of their North Main Street home at 7:13 p.m. on Jan. 25. Old Forge police were dispatched and began cardiopulmonary resuscitation on Mr. Boynosky, who was warm to the touch.

Pennsylvania Ambulance employees Phillip Pizano and Stanley Wyshock arrived and began attending to Mr. Boynosky at 7:23 p.m., the suit says. Police continued chest compressions until Mr. Pizano and Mr. Wyshock directed them to stop.

Police resumed chest compressions on two additional occasions, but Mr. Pizano and Mr. Wyshock again told them to stop. Mrs. Boynosky and her daughter pleaded with the ambulance employees to continue efforts to save Mr. Boynosky, but the men told them he was dead and nothing could be done.

At 7:25 p.m., a second unit from Pennsylvania Ambulance arrived, staffed by Joshua Wilbur and Robert Schaffer. The men restarted chest compressions and obtained a stable pulse within minutes. They continued to administer medications and ventilated Mr. Boynosky with a tube.

By 7:35 p.m., he had a heart rate of 103 — a rate within normal range, according to American Heart Association guidelines.

Mr. Boynosky was transferred to Geisinger Community Medical Center, where he died on Jan. 28. An autopsy determined he suffered a sudden cardiac arrhythmia that resulted in death caused by congestive heart failure, the suit says.

The lawsuit, filed by attorney Edward Ciarimboli of Kingston, alleges Pennsylvania Ambulance was grossly negligent for failing to properly train employees to assess patients. Mr. Pizano and Mr. Wyshock, who are not named as defendants, committed several errors, the suit says, including interrupting chest compressions without first contacting medical command, which is a violation of Pennsylvania Emergency Medical Treatment protocols.

The suit seeks damages for five counts, including wrongful death and negligent infliction of emotional distress.

Efforts to reach representatives from Pennsylvania Ambulance for comment were unsuccessful Monday.

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