American Medical Response sued over fatal ketamine injection in Colorado


The family of a 29-year-old Colorado woman who died after a paramedic injected her with ketamine is suing one of the largest ambulance companies in the country, alleging the paramedic never should have given her the powerful sedative in the first place.

Jerica Lacour died Jan. 11, 2018, after a paramedic working for American Medical Response in Colorado Springs gave her ketamine, according to the lawsuit filed Thursday in El Paso County District Court.

The use of ketamine outside of hospitals has been under scrutiny in Colorado since the 2019 death of Elijah McClain in Aurora. McClain died in police custody after he was administered a too-large dose of the drug.

State lawmakers in 2021 passed a bill that set parameters for using ketamine in the field and a panel of experts found that it can be used safely, though they recommended more guidelines on its use.

The paramedic in Colorado Springs, Jason Poulson, on Jan. 11, 2018, responded to the scene of a distressed person along with a Colorado Springs police officer, an EMT with American Medical Response and two firefighters. Lacour was lying on the asphalt and sobbing uncontrollably when the officials arrived, according to the lawsuit. She was not combative or violent, the lawsuit states.

The first responders placed Lacour on a gurney, strapped down her limbs and placed a spit hood over her head, the lawsuit states, citing body camera footage. Poulson then said he was going to give Lacour ketamine and one of the firefighters at the scene said he should not.


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