Brooklyn Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Against City and NYPD Officer Who Failed to Help Girl Who Died from Asthma Attack
A family's lawsuit claiming their daughter was refused life-saving CPR from an NYPD officer has been thrown out. NY1's Gene Apodaca filed the following report.
Carmen Ojeda says she still lives in pain six years after her 11-year-old daughter Briana died of an asthma attack. She believes an NYPD officer should've been able to save her.
"I don't want anyone else to go through this," Carmen Ojeda said.
The Ojeda family sued the city and officer Alfonzo Mendez following Briana's 2010 death.
Her mother says the attack began while the girl was playing in a Cobble Hill park. She says the family was racing to the hospital when Officer Mendez pulled them over. That's when Ojeda says she asked him to perform CPR on her daughter. The heartbroken mother said the officer refused because he didn't know how.
"She collapsed at that moment," Carmen Ojeda said. "So I don't understand how he couldn't help me."
The NYPD trains its officers in CPR. However, the department does not have a policy requiring officers to be able to perform the life-saving technique, a policy the Ojeda family has spent years fighting to change.
Legislation known as "Briana's Bill" would require CPR training every two years for all first responders. But the measure has stalled in Albany.
"They're trained in how to shoot their firearms every six months. So why not train them in CPR? These are human lives," Carmen Ojeda said.
Lives just like Briana's. Her family says she wanted to be a lawyer and a model, dreams now only spoken in past tense.
"You live in a room with somebody your entire life, and then your best friend gets taken away from you," said Michael Ojeda Jr., Briana's brother.
The issues of CPR training for officers also came up in the Peter Liang trial earlier this year. It was revealed the former officer and his partner didn't perform it on a dying Akai Gurley because they claimed they weren't properly trained. Following that case, Police Commissioner William Bratton directed officers to use the CPR training they are given.
Meanwhile, the Ojeda family's attorney says he is currently reviewing the court's decision and will likely file an appeal.