Hernandez v. Lifeline Ambulance, LLCAnnotate this Case
The Emergency Medical Services Systems Act. 210 ILCS 50/3.150, provides immunity from liability to an ambulance owner and its driver who "provides emergency or non-emergency medical services during a Department-approved training course, in the normal course of conducting their duties, or in an emergency," for acts or omissions in providing such services unless such acts or omissions constitute willful and wanton misconduct. Hernandez suffered bodily injuries when an ambulance owned by Lifeline and driven by Nicholas ran a red light and collided with his vehicle. The ambulance was being used for the non-emergency transport of a patient that had undergone dialysis at a health care facility. The complaint alleged that, at the time of the collision, Nicholas was not operating with his lights and siren engaged and was not responding to an emergency and that nobody on board was in the process of providing emergency or nonemergency medical services.
The Illinois Supreme Court concluded that the defendants were not protected from liability. Under the Act, ‘[n]on-emergency medical services” means: “medical care, clinical observation, or medical monitoring rendered to patients whose conditions do not meet this Act’s definition of emergency, before or during transportation of such patients to or from health care facilities visited for the purpose of obtaining medical or health care services which are not emergency in nature, using a vehicle regulated by this Act.” Nicholas’s actions in driving and running the red light were not integral or in any way related to providing non-emergency medical care.