SC county, EMS agency sued for negligence in man's death

Paul Tarashuk was struck and killed by a vehicle after first responders released him while he was experiencing a schizophrenic episode

By EMS1 Staff 

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A lawsuit on behalf of Paul Tarashuk has been filed against Orangeburg County and associated entities, including emergency medical service, for negligence in the death of the 26-year-old. 

According to Watch Fox 57, Tarashuk’s parents say their son had a schizophrenic episode after being involved in a car accident. Police found him walking along on Interstate 95.

According to WIS News 10, the lawsuit states that EMS workers mocked Tarashuk when he showed signs of mental distress, and their medical assistance involved sticking ammonia inhalant up his nose. Police drove him to a nearby gas station, leaving Tarashuk there without a wallet, cell phone or ID.

The lawsuit also states that law enforcement did not want the responsibility to investigate or address Tarashuks' medical needs because they thought he was intoxicated.  

Tarashuk ended up running back to the highway, where he was struck and killed by a motorist, who called 911 to report the incident.  

The lawsuit states that entities within Orangeburg County, along with the Town of Santee and the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, are liable for Tarashuk's death.  

Per WIS News 10, the Department of Health and Environmental Control found the two EMTs, Jamie Givens and Alison Harmon, violated the EMS Act of South Carolina.  

Harmon's paramedic certification was suspended for 18 months but is still working through her suspension with her EMT certification. Officials suspended Givens' EMT certification for six months.  

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