Bay Area Personal Injury Attorney Comments on the Death of a San Francisco Marathon Runner

It is ironic-and appalling– that a runner collapsed and died near the finish line of the San Francisco Half Marathon sponsored by a health care provider-Kaiser Permanante-last weekend. According to the SFGate.com, bystanders and race participants desperately tried to revive him as they waited 20 minutes for the paramedics to arrive. There is no excuse why Kaiser Permanente and RhodyCo Productions, the company that produced the race, did not have a doctor on site or ambulance waiting at the finish line for an event of that size and with that number staff, as even the smallest events have at least one ambulance waiting at the finish line. Their lack of medical emergency support and preparation demonstrates negligence and their inability to safely put on an event that size. Conflicting reports have been made by the event coordinators and witnesses regarding what happened that day.
Rody of RhodyCo has stated that there was medical staff based at two tents near the finish line and tried to to help Hass within five minutes of his collapse. He did acknowledge that the event’s only hired ambulance had been diverted to another part of the course to help another runner. Witnesses have said that after the paramedics were called, a crew drove by and then returned later because they were given three different, incorrect locations. Witnesses have also stated that no one person identified themselves as being part of the event medical team at any point, there were no medical personnel or equipment at the finish line.
Here at the Brod Law Firm we see this is a hard lesson for everyone, including the city of San Francisco. The city needs to review their policy and procedures, and perhaps change the them and require a backup ambulance. Also they should create designated routes for additional ambulance to quickly get to part of the race course next time. It seems that the closed road situation had a serious affect on the situation. Also marathon organizers should consider that fact that having an automatic external defibrillator AED at the finish line can very well help save a life in case there is not an ambulance crew available. The truth is we don’t know if an ambulance or doctor could have saved him had they been there at the time he collapsed, but we can say for certain that the time it took to get life saving equipment and medical transportation to him did decided his fate.