Federal lawsuit claims 2 HFD employees failed patient on emergency call

Firefighter/EMTs were previously disciplined over same matter

HOUSTON – A just-filed federal lawsuit targets two Houston Fire Department employees who are accused of not performing life-saving intervention techniques to save a young man with Cerebral Palsy.

The lawsuit claims that in January 2021, in the thick of the COVID-19 pandemic, two firefighters/EMTs were dispatched to an IAH Airport-area motel where they pronounced “J.J.” deceased and initially refused to perform industry-standard life-saving techniques.

Another crew of firefighters/EMTs arrived at the scene later and did provide life-saving care and transported the patient to the hospital.

J.J. survived the ordeal, but the lawsuit claims because he was deprived of oxygen for so long during the incident, he is permanently brain damaged.

The employees were disciplined with a week’s suspension, according to the lawsuit.

On Friday, Chief Sam Pena said that he could not comment on the matter because it is a pending lawsuit.

Neither the Houston Fire Department nor the City of Houston is presently named as defendants in the lawsuit.

Chief Sam Pena could not say whether the two employees are still currently employed with HFD and a follow-up email sent on Friday has yet been responded to.