Paramedic negligence

Roane-Spray v State of Queensland [2016] QDC 348 required the court to consider whether a paramedic was negligent in the use of a stretcher when transporting a patient.

There was no real dispute on behalf of the defendant that, if events occurred in the way described by the plaintiff (which was found), that is if the stretcher was pulled out and the head of the stretcher fell to the ground, this involved negligence on the part of the paramedic, for which the defendant is vicariously liable: [41].

The court was required to consider section 27 of the Civil Liability Act 2003 (QLD), which provides certain protections for prescribed entities performing duties to enhance public safety. The section requires consideration of first aid or assistance given in the circumstances of an emergency and whether the act is done in good faith without reckless disregard for the safety of the person. The court held at [45] that the section did not apply to the vicarious liability of the defendant for its employee.