Take it back

Aug 23, 2000 at 12:00 am
Yvonne Mason is pissed off, and she says attorney Hans Massaquoi is the source of her ire. Earlier this month, this reputable rag published an article about Detroit’s EMS woes (“The EMS Mess” MT Aug. 9–15). The story included details about a lawsuit Mason filed against the city after allegedly waiting a half hour for an ambulance to arrive and take her husband to the hospital. When the paramedics did show, their rig could not travel more than 25 mph to 30 mph. Making matters worse, the vehicle’s brakes failed, causing it to slam into another EMS truck. Mason’s husband was pronounced dead on arrival, with cardiac arrest the cause of his death, according to Doug Peters, Mason’s attorney.

The article also included a quote from Massaquoi, who represents the city in the legal action.

“It is our contention that he was dead long before EMS was called,” said Massaquoi.

Mason says she has been furious since reading Massaquoi’s statement. “He was breathing when put in the ambulance,” she says. “He had a weak pulse but he was breathing.”

According to an EMS report Mason’s attorney provided News Hits, Mason’s husband was “loaded in (the) rig … approximately one minute from (the) hospital, patient emitted vomitus from nose and mouth.”

“Dead people don’t vomit,” says Peters, who wrote a letter to Massaquoi asking for a retraction. And if he does not comply, the letter states that a grievance may be filed against him with the State Bar of Michigan. A possible lawsuit against the attorney is also mentioned.

But Massaquoi is not budging.

“There will be no retraction or correction,” he says. “If you have a person dead or alive, it is not uncommon for vomitus to emanate from his nose or mouth. So that is not proof of anything.”

Peters says that the city filed a motion to dismiss the case and will wait for the judge’s decision before deciding what recourse to take regarding Massaquoi’s statement.

Ann Mullen contributed to News Hits, which is edited by Curt Guyette. He can be reached at 313-202-8004 or [email protected]