The family of a Belcamp, Maryland man has filed a wrongful death suit against the Harford County Sheriff’s office regarding the man’s death in a medical emergency.
Reverend Bob Tompkins, 57 at the time, was found lying facedown on the ground near his home. His neighbor, Michael Johnson, found the reverend and began administering CPR in an effort to revive the minister. According to Johnson, Sheriff’s Deputy Ronnell Webb arrived before paramedics did and ordered Johnson to stop resuscitation efforts. This was allegedly ordered despite the fact that Tompkins appeared to be responding to the process and had begun breathing again.
Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease ultimately killed the reverend after he was taken to the Upper Chesapeake Medical Center. “Had Mr. Johnson not been prevented by Defendant DFC Webb from continuing to provide CPR to Reverend Tompkins, he more than likely than not would have survived,” stated the lawsuit filed against Deputy Webb and the Harford County Sheriff’s department.
Further, the reverend was “left in a medically precarious state, unaided and left to suffer cardiac arrest on his front lawn, without CPR for a period of minutes before paramedics arrived on scene.”
The suit claims that the Sheriff’s department failed to adequately train its personnel — had Webb been better trained, he would have recognized the necessity of maintaining CPR until the paramedics arrived, the family claimed.
The Harford County Sheriff has declined to comment on the case. The family is suing for damages including costs for the pastor’s wife and children, as well as damages for the actions of the deputy, and against the county office on grounds of negligence for hiring him in the first place. Estimates place the total damages sought by the family in the millions of dollars.
There is currently no word on when a court date will be set, or which judge will be presiding over the initial stages of the case.