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Published: Wednesday, 8/10/2005

Ambulance company sues over suspension

A Toledo-based ambulance company is hoping a judge will take a second look at a decision last month by Lucas County officials to temporarily suspend part of the company's operations.

MedCorp Inc. feels the suspension of one of its stations was unfair and "unilateral" and may harm business elsewhere because of a tarnished reputation, attorney J. Jeffrey Lowenstein said. The firm is asking for $20,000 in damages in a suit filed in Lucas County Common Pleas Court.

The controversy stems from an incident July 6 in which a MedCorp ambulance at a Maumee dialysis center was approached by a man with chest pains. Already caring for a patient, the crew asked for another MedCorp ambulance rather than using the county's 911 system that might have dispatched an ambulance from a competing company.

In the meantime, a passer-by dialed 911. A Medcorp crew arrived moments later, but the incident sparked an investigation by Lucas County emergency officials.

The manager of the county's emergency medical services penalized Medcorp, which by contract transports some of the county's 911 patients, by suspending for 30 days county runs that would be assigned to one of Medcorp's stations.

The decision was reaffirmed days later by the director of the county's emergency medical services.

Mr. Lowenstein said the company has no place to appeal other than to the court.

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