Family of man who died outside D.C. fire station files wrongful death suit

WASHINGTON — The family of Cecil Mills has filed a $7.7 million wrongful death lawsuit against the District, claiming the longtime city employee’s neglect across the street from a D.C. fire station led to his death.

Mills collapsed after a heart attack in January 2014. At the time, he was across the street from a D.C. fire station.

But despite pleading from bystanders, no firefighters at Engine 26 in Northeast went out to help.

A D.C. Fire and EMS Department (D.C. FEMS) ambulance that was dispatched from a different fire station went to the wrong quadrant of the District.

Mills, 77, later died.

“Anybody who is in the city who might need to call D.C. FEMS for help, you are at risk,” Karen Evans, the family’s lawyer with the Cochran Firm, said at the news conference.

“You don’t know if they’re going to come or if they’re going to be well-trained enough to handle your emergency,” she says.

In a letter, the District’s Office of Risk Management wrote that its investigation showed D.C. FEMS staff didn’t do anything that worsened Mills’ condition or contributed to his death.

As a result, the letter goes on, the District has no liability.

The family takes exception to that finding.

“The people that failed to do their jobs should be held accountable for their lack of actions,” says Medric Mills, the son.

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