State lawmakers are moving forward with a proposal that would lead to Hillsborough County paying $2.45 million to the estate of a 30-year-old woman who died because of alleged negligence by paramedics.
The House on Thursday unanimously passed a bill (HB 6511), sponsored by Rep. Nick DiCeglie, R-Indian Rocks Beach, that would direct the county to make the payment to the estate of Crystle Marie Galloway. The Senate Rules Committee is scheduled Tuesday to take up its version of the bill (SB 26), sponsored by Sen. Janet Cruz, D-Tampa.
Galloway’s mother, Nicole Black, called 911 in the early morning of July 4, 2018, and said her daughter needed medical assistance. Four paramedics were dispatched and saw Galloway crying, complaining of a headache and vomiting but did not take her vital signs or conduct a physical examination, the House bill said.
A short time later, the paramedics left, and Black drove Galloway to an emergency room in Temple Terrace, with Galloway having seizures in the car, according to a report by Carine Mitz, a House special master who reviewed the case. A CT scan of her brain showed bleeding that likely was related to an aneurysm. Galloway, who had three children, was taken to Tampa General Hospital but died July 9, 2018.
The estate filed a lawsuit in 2019 alleging that negligence by the paramedics caused Galloway’s death. The county agreed to settle the case for $2.75 million, but because of state sovereign immunity laws, it was limited to paying $300,000 without passage of what is known as a “claim bill” directing payment of the remainder.
“Had just one of the four responding medics taken a moment to conduct an assessment, they would have likely determined that Ms. Galloway needed rapid transport to an appropriate stroke center and transported her,” Mitz wrote in the report. “While at home and exhibiting the symptoms of a stroke, Ms. Galloway was still responsive. … Had she been evaluated at this time, her condition would have been apparent and she would have been promptly taken to the appropriate facility, possibly with time left to spare further damage and/or death.”