A Staten Island man who drunkenly jumped out of a moving ambulance and injured himself is suing the city, claiming the emergency medical workers tending to him should have stopped him from unstrapping himself from a gurney and throwing himself out of the vehicle.
As first reported by the Times, Yaugeni Kralkin, 56, is suing the city, the FDNY, and four EMTs for the June 11th, 2016 incident. According to the suit, that day Kralkin, a truck driver, got home from a long-haul drive from San Diego, downed a bottle of cognac, went for a walk, and blacked out in front of a neighbor's house. That's when EMTs picked him up, according to the suit, escorting him into the ambulance because he was being "uncooperative." But when Kralkin woke up strapped to a gurney in an ambulance, he says he freaked out.
He unbuckled the gurney's straps, opened the doors to the ambulance and jumped onto the concrete road, according to the lawsuit—he reportedly suffered a seizure, cuts and bruises, and was knocked unconscious by the impact. And while one might consider such an incident the fault of the person who got too drunk to realize it was a bad idea to toss themselves out of a moving vehicle, Kralkin and his attorney say the EMTs should have done more to prevent him from injuring himself.
"The facts are very unusual in this case, but our position is that my client was so inebriated, and the level of toxicity of alcohol in his body was so high, that he was equivalent to being helpless," attorney Borislav Chernyy told Gothamist. "The EMTs from the City of New York had a duty to protect him, even from himself, as they have a duty to protect any other patient they're caring for."
Kralkin is seeking compensation for his medical costs and undisclosed damages. Meanwhile, the union that represents EMTs says they're not responsible for Kralkin's actions. "What is this E.M.T. supposed to do to stop somebody who loses control of themselves and does something crazy like that?" Robert Ungar, the spokesman for the Uniformed EMTs, Paramedics and Fire Inspectors F.D.N.Y. Local 2507, said. "It’s not their job to get into a physical altercation with somebody who decides they are going to try and jump out of the ambulance."