October 10th, 2007 01:19 PM
Call for help, and get sued!
Mods: I wasn't sure exactly where to post this, but I thought it might make for an interesting discussion.
The general gist of this story deals with a family who is getting sued from a police officer who responded to an emergency call and got hurt in their home. The emergency call involved a drowning child, not firearms, but my first thought was, what happens if I call the police to deal with an armed burglar, and the police officer gets shot in my home?
So now, not only might they take a long time to show up, but now I may get sued if they get hurt?
Just thought it was it interesting.
CASSELBERRY - In January, 1-year-old Joey Cosmillo wandered into the backyard and fell into the family pool. When his mother hauled him out, he wasn't breathing. Rescuers were able to bring him back to life, but he suffered severe brain damage and cannot walk, talk or even swallow.
Now, his family faces another burden: One of the rescuers, Casselberry police Sgt. Andrea Eichhorn, is suing, alleging the family left a puddle of water on the floor that afternoon, causing her to slip and fall.
The boy's grandparents, named in the suit, are mystified and angry.
Joey Cosmillo with his mother Photo
Joey Cosmillo, age 1 Photo
"The loss we've suffered, and she's seeking money?" said Richard Cosmillo, 69, the boy's grandfather. "Of course there's going to be water in the house. He was sopping wet when we brought him in."
Eichhorn last week sued Richard Cosmillo; his wife, Maggie Cosmillo; and the boy's mother, Angela Cosmillo, accusing them of negligence. They were careless, according to the suit, and allowed the home they shared to become unsafe.
As a consequence, Eichhorn broke her knee, something that kept her off the job for two months, according to police Chief John Pavlis.
Joey now lives in a nursing home five miles away, where he gets 24-hour care. He breathes through one tube. He's fed through another.
"He doesn't have any abilities -- any," his grandmother said. "He can't sit. He can't swallow. He can't eat. We're not even sure he can see."
She and Richard Cosmillo are the boy's legal guardians. For the first two months after the accident, she remained at his bedside, never once going home.
She has now gone back to work at a furniture store, and her husband keeps watch on the boy. He visits every day.
"This thing," Maggie Cosmillo said, "has destroyed our lives forever."
The baby's mother was the only one home Jan. 9, when the boy slipped out of the house and wound up in the pool, according to a police report.
She plunged in and dragged him out, carrying him inside, down a hallway and into a bedroom. She also called 911.
Eichhorn arrived a few minutes later. As she stepped into the room where rescuers were working on the boy, she slipped and went down on one knee, then stood back up, according to Richard Cosmillo.
Later that day, she went to an emergency care center and eventually to an orthopedist, according to her attorney, David Heil.
While she was on medical leave, Pavlis said, the city's insurer paid her medical bills and provided disability checks.
Eichhorn, a 12-year department veteran, would not discuss the suit. Her attorney said those benefits, paid by the city's workers' compensation carrier, were not enough. The suit seeks an unspecified amount of money.
Eichhorn, he said, is a victim. Her knee aches, and she will likely develop arthritis.
If the Cosmillos had made their pool baby-proof, police would not have been called to the scene, there would have been no water on the floor, and Eichhorn would not have hurt herself, he said.
"It's a situation where the Cosmillos have caused these problems, brought them on themselves, then tried to play the victim," he said.
The department's personnel file on Eichhorn, who earns $48,000 a year, is filled with letters of praise. She has worked as a prostitution decoy and a hostage negotiator, and once wrestled a box of razor blades away from a person threatening suicide.
"She is the best sergeant within the police department and should become the next lieutenant," her supervisor wrote in a job review in 2003.
"Sgt. Eichhorn is a good officer," Pavlis said Tuesday.
He urged her not to file the lawsuit, he said, but there was nothing he could do.
The Cosmillos have not given the suit much attention, they say.
Richard Cosmillo is busy looking after Joey, whose name he had tattooed over his heart a few days after the accident, when doctors told the family the boy would survive only a few hours.
But Joey, now almost 23 months old, has survived. He can smile, and he appears to recognize music, his grandparents say. His grandfather hopes for much more.
"Joey is a Roman gladiator. He is an absolute warrior," Richard Cosmillo said. "There isn't anything or anyone in this world that I love as much as him."
When the messenger arrives and says 'Don't shoot the messenger,' it's a good idea to be prepared to shoot the messenger, just in case.
October 10th, 2007 01:32 PM
Er...uh hu.... shut up Miggy, just shut up.
You have to make the shot when fire is smoking, people are screaming, dogs are barking, kids are crying and sirens are coming.
Ego will kill you. Leave it at home.
October 10th, 2007 01:39 PM
Ummmmmm...............thats just stupid.
“Are you a thermometer or a thermostat, do you reflect or become what is happening in the room or do you change the atmosphere, reset the temperature when you come into the room”?--Chuck Swindoll
Its not about guns...Its about Freedom!
October 10th, 2007 01:46 PM
I wonder if this is one of those cases where in order for her own insurance to pay off she has to sue the family. I have heard of cases where an individual's insurance required them to try and collect from someone else before filing for their carrier. I hope this is the case and if not then I will make no more comment........
October 10th, 2007 01:49 PM
Just plain ignorance on the cops end. Geez, she gonna sue a BG when he tried to fight?
"In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson
Nemo Me Impune Lacesset
October 10th, 2007 03:43 PM
October 10th, 2007 04:03 PM
Aren't cops covered by the police department. It happend in the line of duty.
Personally I think that if you slip and fall; near the pool, on an icy sidewalk, off a cliff, etc. it's YOUR fault. unless the family was pouring glycerin and motor oil on the steps on purpose, you shouldn't sue.
October 10th, 2007 04:08 PM
Sounds like she wasn't watching where she was walking...curious what her responsibility is...
October 10th, 2007 05:03 PM
You have to admit it takes some big ones to sue the family of the kid, who now had brain, damage because your dumb self slipped and fell. They should fire her for having the audacity to even try this.
He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.
Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, Aphorism 146
German philosopher (1844 - 1900)
October 10th, 2007 05:23 PM
The Gunsite Blog
ITFT / Quick Kill Review
"It is enough to note, as we have observed, that the American people have considered the handgun to be the quintessential self-defense weapon." - Justice Scalia, SCOTUS - DC v Heller - 26 JUN 2008
October 10th, 2007 05:32 PM
October 10th, 2007 05:52 PM
You have got to be kidding me. I can't that crap!!!!
"No free man shall ever be de-barred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain their right to keep and bear arms is as a last resort to protect themselves against tyranny in government." - Thomas Jefferson
October 10th, 2007 07:49 PM
As a former first responder I just wanna say that this cop is an idiot. It is a well known job duty to always look out for yourself. ALWAYS! There are hazards everywhere and you get paid to deal with them.
Rule #1: I am going home at the end of my shift
Rule #2: My partner is going home too
Last edited by Cupcake; October 10th, 2007 at 09:01 PM.
October 10th, 2007 10:27 PM
I'll second what LB said...
as an EMT and firefighter, my responsibilities are...
1) My safety
2) My partners safety (along with other responders)
3) The patients safety and well being.
4) The well being of everyone else!
I can't even fathom trying to sue someone... esp. when the injury happened ON THE JOB!!! AND WAS COVERED!!!
Ok, now I really really need a range trip!
Firefighter / EMT - Always Ready. Ever Willing.
~Never do anything that you don't want to have to explain to the paramedics...~
October 10th, 2007 10:59 PM
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