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Tentative settlement reached in death of Hazelwood man during 2010 blizzard

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Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, 12:21 p.m.
 

Pittsburgh and Allegheny County have agreed to a $280,000 settlement with the family of a Hazelwood man who died after ambulances failed to reach him during the 2010 blizzard.

Curtis Mitchell, 50, an unemployed laborer, died Feb. 7, 2010, of heart disease. The city and county revamped their emergency system in the wake of his death.

Mitchell's two children sued the city and county, seeking more than $500,000. Pending approval from city council, Pittsburgh would pay them $195,000 and the county would pay them $85,000, according to Joanna Doven, spokeswoman for Mayor Luke Ravenstahl. City Council introduced legislation on Monday to approve the city's portion. A vote could come next week.

Mitchell and his girlfriend, Sharon Edge, called 911 10 times Feb. 6-7, 2010, but city paramedics were unable to reach their Chaplain Way home because of snow.

County dispatchers urged Mitchell to walk across the Elizabeth Street Bridge to waiting ambulances, but extreme abdominal pain prevented him from doing so. Ambulance crew chief Josie Dimon, who was fired, was recorded as saying she wasn't “waiting all day” for Mitchell and “this ain't no cab service.” An arbitrator reinstated her.

City Public Safety Director Michael Huss criticized the paramedics, saying they should have walked to Mitchell's home.

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