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NPR Interview: Family files wrongful death suit against Illinois paramedics charged with murder


Yesterday, January 19, 2023, Attorneys Bob Hilliard and Ben Crump, stood alongside the family of Earl Moore, Jr. and announced that they would be filing a wrongful death lawsuit, naming Paramedics Peggy Finley and Peter Cadigan, as well as LifeStar Ambulance Service, for their negligent actions that led to the tragic death of Earl Moore, Jr.

Originally aired on NPR, January 20, 20235:11 AM ET

Attorney Bob Hilliard was interviewed by NPR host, A Martinez. Below is an excerpt from the interview.

Man with short white hair, wearing a dark blue suit, which dress shirt, and a red tie. He stands in front of the NAACP Springfield sign.
Bob Hilliard.


MARTÍNEZ: Cadigan is later seen grabbing Moore and slamming his upper body and face against a gurney. The civil suit also names Cadigan and Finley’s employer, LifeStar Ambulance Services, as a defendant. I spoke with Bob Hilliard, who is representing Moore’s family in the civil suit along with Ben Crump, about what happened on that night in December.

BOB HILLIARD: Law enforcement responded, as you can see on the body cams. And the law enforcement folks were very helpful. Earl was prone on the bed and then on the ground. He was barely responsive – not aggressive, just in medical distress. A paramedic entered the room where Earl was. And as the video, which is pretty self-explanatory, shows, the paramedic was extremely aggressive, extremely agitated. She swore at Earl. She didn’t attempt to medically evaluate the situation. Her behavior and her objective comments and her demeanor are clear that she was not performing as a professional paramedic should perform.

And I think in watching the video, it’s clear that even the police officers were taken aback because she was so agitated at this man who is having a medical issue. He was then just lifted up and put facedown on the gurney. And the gurney has a slight tilt upward. And the reason that’s important is because asphyxiation happens more quickly when the airways have an angle to work against, which is what happened here.

MARTÍNEZ: And that’s what the autopsy determined, that Moore’s death was caused by positional asphyxia.

HILLIARD: That’s correct. And whether you put a knee on a man’s neck for eight minutes or you place him facedown on a gurney and you strap him in as tight as you can, both will die from asphyxiation, and both will die filled with terror, because asphyxiation is a – it’s like being buried alive. It’s a slow, terrifying sense of not being able to breathe.

MARTÍNEZ: Bob, how did you feel when you watched that police body cam video? – because there’s parts of it that are really, really disturbing.


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