A drunk driver drifted off the shoulder of West Campbellton Street in Fairburn, Georgia, and flipped his vehicle into a ditch. The vehicle was an ambulance. The drunk ambulance driver was 34-year-old Kevin McCorvey, and the unsecured patient in the back, 66-year-old Wilton Thomason Jr., died as the ambulance tumbled in the single-vehicle wreck.
McCorvey failed a sobriety test, and he’s been charged with DUI, second-degree vehicular homicide, open container, and failure to maintain lane, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. While McCorvey faces criminal charges, there are questions about the private ambulance company that employed McCorvey and what they knew or should have known about McCorvey’s driving history or his problems with alcohol.
Atlanta attorney Bradley Pratt says the private ambulance company can be held liable if it failed to properly train and monitor employees. “It’s a double tragedy when a driver tasked with getting a patient to a hospital for aid winds up killing that very patient,” Bradley says. “We expect ambulance drivers to be well-vetted and well-trained, and when they are not, and someone is hurt or killed, the company that hired the driver needs to be held accountable.”
While the criminal justice system can deliver severe consequences to the driver if he is convicted, it has no jurisdiction over the ambulance company, and the criminal justice system has no way to provide any relief or compensation to Wilton Thomason’s family. However, the civil justice system provides a pathway for a family to conduct their own investigation, pursue justice through a lawsuit that could hold the responsible entities accountable and potentially result in the payment for damages. Sometimes settlements or judgments can be costly enough to force companies to make meaningful changes that can prevent similar tragedies in the future.
Only the survivors of the victim of a fatal ambulance crash can stand up and demand justice in the civil court system.
Bradley Pratt has experience holding ambulance companies accountable for allowing poorly-trained and poorly-vetted drivers to take the wheel of an ambulance. Pratt Clay obtained a life-changing confidential settlement for the family of a patient who was killed when an ambulance driver fell asleep at the wheel. Bradley Pratt says, “There is no amount of money that can compensate for the loss of a loved one, but families often find comfort when they know that the company responsible for their suffering is held accountable, and that by standing up and demanding justice, they can help prevent a similar disaster from happening to another family.”