Palm Beach County settles lawsuit from woman dropped by paramedics


Jean Reed-Garry had already suffered neck and shoulder pain from a car rear-ending her, but she says her injuries only got worse when Palm Beach County Fire Rescue crews arrived and tried to get her to a hospital.

Paramedics placed Reed-Garry onto a gurney and dropped it — and her — as they loaded her into the ambulance.

“It was a bumpy road. She was kind of lopping around a little bit and starting to fall over a little bit on the side, putting weight on the side of the stretcher and the stretcher flipped over and the paramedics did not have control over it,” said Ken Sobel, Reed-Garry’s attorney. “They picked her up. She was confused and disoriented. She hit her head when she fell on the street.”

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The car accident and the gurney mishap happened in 2012, and three years later Reed-Garry sued Palm Beach County for negligence. The county settled the suit this month for $100,000.

“It’s kind of a funky case,” said Sobel. “Not a typical automobile accident case.”

Reed-Garry, a 69-year-old Lantana resident, declined to comment.

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Sobel wouldn’t say how much money he and Reed-Garry were looking for the county to pay, but he said he was satisfied with the settlement.

“A good resolution is better than a bad verdict,” Sobel said. “I think both sides walked away equally disappointed, which is a good resolution.”

Reed-Garry had surgery on her neck and right shoulder and her medical bills exceeded $200,000, according to county documents. Sobel said she also experienced a mild traumatic brain injury as a result of what happened six years ago.

The former nurse can no longer work, Sobel said.

The car wreck happened June 27, 2012, when the vehicle in which Reed-Garry was a passenger got off Interstate 95 at Lantana Road. The driver of Reed-Gary’s vehicle yielded to traffic before merging onto Lantana Road but the car behind them didn’t stop, and rear-ended them.



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