CASSELBERRY, Fla. â€” A police officer who slipped and injured a knee responding to a toddler's near-drowning has sued the family of the 1-year-old boy, who suffered brain damage and can no longer walk, talk or swallow.
Casselberry Sgt. Andrea Eichhorn alleges Joey Cosmillo's family left a puddle of water on the floor, causing her fall during the rescue efforts. She broke her knee and missed two months of work.
The boy fell into the pool outside the family's home in suburban Orlando in January and now lives in a nursing home and eats and breathes through tubes.
"The loss we've suffered, and she's seeking money?" said Richard Cosmillo, 69, the boy's grandfather, who lived in the home with his wife and the boy's mother. "Of course there's going to be water in the house. He was sopping wet when we brought him in."
Eichhorn's attorney, David Heil, said she has persistent knee pain and will likely develop arthritis. He said city benefits paid by workers' compensation and some disability checks helped with medical bills, but it wasn't enough.
The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages.
"It's a situation where the Cosmillos have caused these problems, brought them on themselves, then tried to play the victim," Heil said.
Eichhorn's personnel file includes numerous commendations. The 12-year veteran has worked as a hostage negotiator and prostitution decoy and wrestled razors away from a suicidal person.
Police Chief John Pavlis said Eichhorn was a good officer, though he urged her not to sue.
Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
So what do you think? Should a LEO file suit in this situation?
IMHO, we assume greater risks in the performance of our official duties and accept that fact as part of our office. I believe that this suit was initiated by emotion and common sense was set aside. I hope this doesn't leave yet another blak mark on our profession.