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Appeals court reverses decision in lawsuit against fire department

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. -- The Indiana Court of Appeals has overturned a decision in a case involving the South Bend Fire Department.

Evelyn Gregory is suing the City of South Bend Fire Department alleging the department was negligent in her care.

In June 2013, Gregory lost consciousness while walking to her bus stop following a doctor's appointment.

She says when she regained consciousness; South Bend firefighters and paramedics helped her stand and then walked with her to the ambulance.

Gregory says she lost consciousness again and when she regained consciousness, paramedics were carrying her to the ambulance, according to the lawsuit.

As she was placed in the ambulance, Gregory noticed her foot was twisted and swollen and one of her knees was swollen, according to the lawsuit.

Gregory filed a complaint for damages in June 2015 and in June 2016 amended to allege the fire department was negligent in its care.

In June 2018, the fire department filed a motion for summary judgement and included affidavits from fire department and paramedics who swore they did not drop Gregory while helping her in the June 2013 incident, reports said.

Gregory responded she did not have a twisted or swollen foot or knee or any fractures before being carried to the ambulance, but had those injuries after she regained consciousness in the ambulance, according to the suit.

The court granted the South Bend Fire Department's request for summary judgment and found in favor of the department.

Gregory appealed the decision alleging the court improperly granted summary judgment.

The appeals court reviewed the case and found there is still a matter to settle in the case, how Gregory sustained her injuries.

The appeals court did not assess whether or not the case is valid or whether the facts in the case were true, just that case law was not followed.

The decision was reversed and the case has been remanded to the trial court for further proceedings.

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