Jury sides with ambulance company in civil case brought by Youngstown murder victim’s family

Local News

Erika Huff's family sued AMR because paramedics were called to the home when a medical alert button that Huff wore went off, but her murderer sent them away

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — A jury in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court Thursday ruled that American Medical Response did not fail to provide a proper standard of care the morning a woman was murdered in her Cleveland Street home.

Six of eight jurors sided with the ambulance company in a civil action bought by the family of Erika Huff, who died after being beaten early Nov. 6, 2015, in her Cleveland Street home.

The man accused of beating Huff to death, Lance Hundley of Warren, was convicted in a criminal trial in common pleas court in June of 2018 before Judge Maureen Sweeney and sentenced to death.

Huff’s family sued AMR because paramedics were called to the home when a medical alert button that Huff wore went off.

Paramedics were met at the door by Hundley, who told them it was a false alarm and everything was fine. He would not let them inside.

A couple of hours later, police and fire crews were called back to the home and found Huff dead inside the home. Huff’s mother was also found inside the house and dragged out by police, severely injured from a beating Hundley inflicted on her. Hundley was also inside and refused to come out for police, who had to run inside the burning home to take him into custody.

Huff’s mother, Denise Johnson, had been alerted by the alarm company when the medical alarm on her daughter went off and she went to her home to let the ambulance crew inside. That is when she is set upon by Hundley.

Huff’s family contended that AMR, which was known as Rural Metro then, did not relay proper information to the paramedics who answered the first call to Huff’s home, mainly that paramedics were never informed that Huff failed to answer a callback to her home when the alarm went off.

Counsel for AMR declined to comment. David Engler, a lawyer for the family, said he was very disappointed by the verdict.

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