Members of the Shreveport Fire Department, as well as many people in the community, were stunned to learn that Traci Adams, the widow of Shreveport Fire Department Battalion Chief Tommy Adams, has filed a lawsuit against the City of Shreveport in District Court.
The lawsuit, says his death "resulted from substandard care and treatment" and a "breach of applicable medical standards" by Fire Department personnel. "Shreveport Fire Department personnel failed to adequately secure an airway, failed to provide supplemental oxygen and failed to take appropriate measures consistent with applicable medical standards resulting in (Adams') oxygen deprivation and resulting brain damage.”
Mrs. Adams also faulted EMS Personnel for transporting him to Willis-Knighton Pierremont rather than the trauma center at LSU Medical Center.
Adams, 52, died last December of complications from his injuries. He had been in a comatose state since February 2009, when he fell from a ladder truck after a Mardi Gras parade. He suffered neck and traumatic brain injuries.
Fellow firefighters held fundraisers while Adams was injured, orchestrated a honor procession when he returned to Shreveport after treatment in a specialized treatment facility and buried him with honors (video here).
A number of fundraisers were held to help the family pay personal expenses during the time he was hospitalized. According to The Times, his medical expenses were paid by worker’s compensaton, and Ms. Adams received a payout from his life insurance policy. She also received benefits from his retirement account.
Mayor Cedric Glover and Fire Chief Brian Crawford released a statement which says "The brave men and women of the Shreveport Fire Department are extremely disappointed in the lawsuit filed and the allegations that have been made against the city of Shreveport and its employees by Mrs. Traci Adams. Needless to say, we will vigorously and aggressively defend the lawsuit and will refute each and every allegation in the petition."
An opinion piece written by Traci Adams for publication in The Times July 19, states, "I will be forever grateful for those who responded to him in his greatest time of need, the night of Feb. 21, 2009."
"You have saved us," she wrote, referring to the "brotherhood" of firefighters who responded to her family's cry for help. "Thank you for all your hard work, dedication, love, prayers and support. I am forever in your debt."
Before her husband's return home, firefighters helped remodel the Adams' Shreveport home in June to make it suitable for his recovery. At the time, she said, "You can feel the love being built."