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  • CHP To Pay Millions To Bakersfield Girl

    CHP pays millions to Bakersfield girl injured in car wreck

    By Amity Addrisi, Eyewitness News, KBAK
    May 25, 2011

    The California Highway Patrol has paid out a settlement of more than $4 million to a child paralyzed in a car crash. Why is the CHP paying? The child's attorney claims her injuries were made worse by a CHP officer who removed her from the wreck.

    BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — The California Highway Patrol has paid out a settlement of more than $4 million to a child paralyzed in a car crash.

    Why is the CHP paying? The child's attorney claims her injuries were made worse by a CHP officer who removed her from the wreck.

    This case has been going on for years. First it was thrown out of court by a local judge, then the child’s attorney appealed. Now more than five years later, a settlement has been reached because the appellate court believed the CHP officer was in the wrong for not helping the girl in the right way.

    This crash, which was caused by a car thief running from Bakersfield police, robbed Katrina Martinez of the use of her legs. Her attorney, Daniel Rodriguez, has been representing the Martinez family since the crash happened in 2006 and believes her neck was probably broken during the wreck.

    A CHP officer arrived on scene after the crash and removed Martinez from the wreckage. Rodriguez said the officer did the right thing by getting the baby out, but didn't take proper care of her injuries.

    "According to witnesses, the baby’s head was bobbing back and forth like a windshield wiper," Rodriguez said. "According to the doctors, our doctors, they said obviously it didn't help and it completed the injury."

    News of the settlement has many people talking about whether or not the lawsuit was fair.

    "I don't think its right, but that's what everyone does nowadays," one Bakersfield resident said, referring to people's desire to sue each other.

    There is a law in California protecting Good Samaritans from getting sued if they hurt someone while helping in an emergency situation. We asked Rodriguez why that law didn't apply to the CHP officer.

    "In this case, the officer was not a Good Samaritan," Rodriguez said. "If that's what you are getting paid to do, is to help people, you better follow the rules and help people in the right way."

    Apparently the appellate court agreed and the CHP has given Martinez $4.5 million to receive care for the rest of her life.

    According to Rodriguez, the case has even urged the CHP to make some changes.

    "Before this case happened, they didn't train officers on how to get children out of car wrecks," he said. "After this case they now teach them how to do it."

    The California Highway Patrol declined to comment on the case or whether or not they've made changes in training their officers.

    This is the second settlement for the child. Martinez also received $3 million from a car wash from which the stolen car was taken from. Rodriguez said this money will afford Martinez the chance at the best technology while living with her disability.
    VIDEO
    Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence!

    [George Washington (1732 - 1799)]


  • #2
    Absolute BS, to the attorney you better hope your not in a major TC as I hope they let you just sit in your mangled car and forget about saving your sorry butt..
    Retired LASD

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by retired96 View Post
      absolute bs, to the attorney you better hope your not in a major tc as i hope they let you just sit in your mangled car and forget about saving your sorry butt..
      agreed!!!

      Comment


      • #4
        Our scientific perspective has progressed so much faster than our political one...

        Comment


        • #5
          Why did the officer remover her from the car before EMS arrived? The FD has the training and equipment to safely remove people. Need more info to pass judgement.
          It's not that liberals are ignorant. It's just that they know so much that isn't so. Ronald Reagan


          TSA, I would rather be felt up than blown up.

          Comment


          • #6
            I will not pass judgment on the officer because I was not there and the article does not give much information. However, I did recently complete my EMT-Basic certification about a month ago. I assume that since the incident occurred when the victim was a baby that the baby was in a car seat. If a baby or small child is in a car seat then we were taught to just keep the baby in car seat since it acts as an immobilization device in that situation. Also whenever someone is involved in a trauma situation, in this case a MVC, then one of the first things you have to do is to take spinal immobilization precautions.
            However, unless there is a reason to rapidly remove a victim from the vehicle, such as fire, then you should keep the victim in the vehicle and keep C-spine precautions until EMS can get there and remove the victims.
            Again, the article does not give much information as to why the officer removed the victim from the MVC. He very well may have had legitimate reason that the article does shed light on.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Justsaying View Post
              Why did the officer remover her from the car before EMS arrived? The FD has the training and equipment to safely remove people. Need more info to pass judgement.
              In the past twenty years a great number of CHP Cadets were academy trained EMTs and certified by the state upon graduation. In the last few years, some of the cadets are EMT trained and the rest are EMR trained.

              Prior to the 1980s everyone was trained in Basic First Aid. I don't know the extent of this particular officer's training or certification, but I am quite certain that the circumstances surrounding the need to remove the child to a safer area far outweighed leaving her there in the vehicle - at least as far as the officer was concerned.

              CA is an extremenly litigious state and given the opportunity, the sharks will activate the deep pocket syndrome. Such is this case.
              Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence!

              [George Washington (1732 - 1799)]

              Comment


              • #8
                In a situation where the best action is not absolutely clear, the officer is supposed to have discretion. I think the appellate court erred.
                Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. -- Aldous Huxley
                Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. -- Albert Einstein

                Comment


                • #9
                  Wow... welcome to the life of being a police officer... damned if you do, damned if you don't.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by SgtCHP View Post
                    In the past twenty years a great number of CHP Cadets were academy trained EMTs and certified by the state upon graduation. In the last few years, some of the cadets are EMT trained and the rest are EMR trained.

                    Prior to the 1980s everyone was trained in Basic First Aid. I don't know the extent of this particular officer's training or certification, but I am quite certain that the circumstances surrounding the need to remove the child to a safer area far outweighed leaving her there in the vehicle - at least as far as the officer was concerned.

                    CA is an extremenly litigious state and given the opportunity, the sharks will activate the deep pocket syndrome. Such is this case.
                    Does extraction come with EMT training or you pretty much have to be involved with the FD to get that type of training? I won't pass judgment here as well since I wasn't there but from what I do see is that often its the firefighters themselves who perform the actual pullout with paramedics and EMT's watching over the procedure.
                    Life is what you make of it

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Our policy is to leave them in the car untill the FD gets there unless the car is on fire.

                      As for removing the car seat, in this case it looked like the Vict's vehicle was overturned, sorta hard to remove a properly installed car seat while the vehicle isn't right side up.
                      Originally Posted by VegasMetro
                      maybe it’s me but I think a six pack and midget porn makes for good times?????

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Imagine if the Officer had left the child in the car and she had died instead. I hate ambulance chasing lawyers.
                        Originally Posted by Law100
                        Note to everyone: notice how respect I am

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          My EMT training did not include anything specific about extrication of infants. I would, of course, immobilize the spine and keep it in line with the torso. Carry the child far enough away from the scene to be safe and lay them flat on their back and keep the spine/neck immobilized. Wait for fire/ems to take the handle.

                          In this case, it appears that it was a vehicle roll over. This calls for rapid extrication to take place. I believe the CHP officer did best for his abilities and it's another frivolous lawsuit by a jackhole of a lawyer. If you watched the video, the way he spoke just proved he is a tool.

                          I do feel sorry for the child knowing she will be permanently disabled, but I don't believe this to be the fault of the CHP or of the car wash from which the vehicle was stolen. They received $7.5 million total in settlements!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Justsaying View Post
                            Why did the officer remover her from the car before EMS arrived? The FD has the training and equipment to safely remove people. Need more info to pass judgement.
                            Even the d-bag attorney said he did the right thing by removing her. Somehow the on-scene cop is supposed to do more at a car wreck than the neurosurgeons were able to do in the hospital.

                            Tort reform people. Look at those that oppose it and vote them out of office. Torts like this one drive up health care, taxes and everything else for the rest of us. I feel sorry for the girl but there is only one person responsible.

                            I hate to say it, but the reason juries go for this kind of crap is that it's the city that pays. The faceless, rich city. The jury should be required to look the officer in the face and say verbally "you personally did $X million of damage to this person." If they can't look them in the eye and say it, no verdict.
                            Last edited by MG108; 05-28-2011, 01:55 AM.
                            "Did that hurt? It looked like it hurt"

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              But there are those that sit on a jury that would not bat an eye telling an officer he was wrong in his application of deadly force, even if he saved 100 lives by taking one. It is the mob mentality, and the peons are fickle people.

                              Comment

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