Drowned Man's Family Files Negligence Claims Against Alameda

They're saying first responders were negligent because they should've done more to help him


 
 

Peter Hegarty, Contra Costa Times | | Friday, October 14, 2011


ALAMEDA, Calif. -- The family of a man who drowned off Crown Beach on Memorial Day as police and firefighters watched from the shore have filed claims against the city and county of Alameda, saying first responders were negligent because they should have done more to help him.

The claims, which were filed Thursday, come just two days after the Alameda City Council reviewed the death of the 52-year-old Raymond Zack and steps that police and firefighters are taking to address public criticism for how they responded to the emergency.

Bernice Jolliff, Zack's sister, and Robert Zack, his brother, are seeking unspecified damages against both the city and county of Alameda, according to the claims.

Zack, who reportedly suffered from mental illness, waded into San Francisco Bay before dozens of onlookers and slowly walked farther and farther from shore until he eventually succumbed in the chilly waters.

After his death, firefighters said they did not enter the water to help him because they were not certified in land-water rescue and did not have a boat that could maneuver in the shallow waters. Police said they did not go in because Zack was suicidal and possibly violent.

Officers and firefighters at the scene, however, did attempt to secure rescue boats, including from the U.S. Coast Guard.

A passer-by eventually pulled Zack back into shore after he began floating face down.

According to the claims filed by San Francisco attorney Robert Cartwright Jr., first responders "breached their mandatory duty and a duty of ordinary care" by not doing more to help Zack.

Among the ways that officers and firefighters were negligent, the claim says, is by not entering the water after Zack or having proper rescue equipment, and not having crews properly trained.

Since Zack's death, 21 Alameda firefighters have undergone training as rescue swimmers and two shallow water rescue boats are in service.

The department also has successfully carried out four water-based rescues since the drowning, according to interim Fire Chief Mike D'Orazi.

Police and firefighters are launching other changes to address the public criticism of the departments after the drowning, officials told the Alameda City Council Tuesday.

The council will get a progress update in February.



Related Links:


Copyright © 2013 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, negligence, drowning, Alameda Drowning

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS





 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Progress

Follow in the footsteps of these inspirational leaders of EMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

NAEMT: Transforming EMS

A look inside at the Mobile Healthcare Paramedic system.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Austin-Travis County Community Health Paramedic Program

Overview of program provides operation and referral details.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Flight Paramedic’s Perfect Weekend

Carilion Lifeguard Flight Paramedic shares what would make his perfect weekend.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Honolulu EMS Pilot Program

New program tests change in shift schedule for EMTs and Paramedics.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Numerous Rescues during Arizona Flooding

Severe flooding across the region prompted several rescues.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Colorado Hiker Rescue

Injured hiker spent three hours in a crevice.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Airlift at Swiss Train Derailment

Helicopters used to help reach the injured.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >