The family of a man who died of a heart attack while waiting for an ambulance during Toronto’s 2009 civic strike is suing the city for more than $10 million.
James Hearst died of cardiac arrest on June 25, 2009, while waiting more than 35 minutes for paramedics to arrive after he had experienced a heart attack.
Two years after filing the lawsuit, Hearst’s family is going public with their decision to sue the city, Toronto Emergency Medical Services, specific paramedics, dispatchers and supervisors for more than $10 million.
“People who are responsible for the death of a man should be accountable for it,” said Alejandro Martinez, Hearst’s partner.
The family’s lawyer, Neil Abramson, said the family held off on discussing the lawsuit because they had hoped to reach some kind of resolution.
Abramson said that after two years, the family has become tired of the city and Toronto EMS refusing to accept any responsibility.
“At the end of the day, James Hearst was allowed to languish and suffer and die, and his family has suffered terrible losses. And that’s what the lawsuit is designed to address,” he said.
The coroner’s inquest is expected to last another week. A civil trial could start next year.