EMTs error in tipping over patient on stretcher was not gross negligence
Eddie Lee sued the Dowagiac Volunteer Department Ambulance Service, after he suffered injury while being transported to the Emergency Room. The EMTs who responded to provide care to Lee could not enter his home with their ambulance stretcher, so he was loaded on the partially elevated stretcher at the front door. In the process of moving the stretcher down Lee's front step to the ambulance, the stretcher tipped over and the EMTs were forced to allow the stretcher and the 268 pound Lee to continue to the ground. Lee wasn't "dropped" from the stretcher, and the stretcher did not "fall" to the ground, according to the Court. In this situation, the EMTs were engaged in providing emergency services and therefore they are immune from what was, at most, "ordinary negligence" in transporting Lee.