A Broomfield, Colorado man who was saved in dramatic fashion during the state’s historic flooding last September is filing a lawsuit claiming that emergency responders didn’t rescue him fast enough.
Roy Ortiz told CBS4 that, despite having already saved his wife and brother, rescue crews didn’t realize that he was trapped inside his upside-down car.
“I started yelling again and I started making noise to let them know, those people, that I’m alive,” he said.
The lawsuit claims that rescue workers ignored pleas from his wife and brother that there was another person in the car. Ortiz had jumped into the backseat of the overturned vehicle to prevent himself from drowning, and it took his rescuers two hours to locate, then extricate him.
He told CBS4 that he “needs help paying his medical bills,” and suing those who saved him is his only option.
His lawyer, Ed Ferszt, said that “it’s unfortunate to have to try and cast liability and responsibility for this act of God on the men and women who risked their own lives,” but that Ortiz has no choice.
As for the party being sued, the North Metro Fire Department, they “certainly sympathize with what Mr. Ortiz had to go through,” according to spokeswoman Sara Farris.
“I’m sure it was a traumatic experience for him. Ultimately, we were just very grateful we were able to save his life that day.”
Watch the CBS4 report on the lawsuit below.
Scott Eric Kaufman is the proprietor of the AV Club's Internet Film School and, in addition to Raw Story, also writes for Lawyers, Guns & Money. He earned a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of California, Irvine in 2008.
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