Lawsuit: Woodbury paramedic claims city retaliated against him for refusing to inject resident with Ketamine

A Woodbury paramedic has filed a lawsuit against the city and its Fire Department accusing them of retaliation for refusing to inject ketamine into a subject as ordered by a police sergeant, a claim the city denies. 

According to the lawsuit, the Plaintiff, an Inver Grove Heights man, says drawing up a ketamine shot in that scenario would be a deviation from the standard of care.

The lawsuit says the paramedic was aware of the public outcry of ketamine use in law enforcement responses in the city of Minneapolis.

The incident outlined in the lawsuit occurred Sept. 22, 2019. There, he claims officers “pressured” him to administer the drug on a Woodbury resident.

In a statement to FOX 9, the city of Woodbury said medical professionals determine the use of Ketamine and that no city employees imporperly administered the drug. 

“[The Plaintiff] believed than that injecting the citizen with Ketamine would have deviate from the standard of care expected from a reasonable paramedic and that the action would have violated federal, state and regulatory laws,” the lawsuit reads.

Before that incident, the paramedic said he had no performance issues, but after Sept. 22, 2019, he was disciplined.

“It was clear that the disciplinary measure was to create a situation that would force [The Plaintiff] to quit his job and an environment where no other reasonable employee would report any such wrongdoings in the future,” the lawsuit says.

The city of Woodbury countered, in its statement, saying "Mr. Baker was never disciplined or subject to retaliation and we categorically deny the allegations in the Complaint." 

In addition to the retaliation claim, the man's lawsuit says Woodbury leadership used a “magic pen” to falsify the records of police and firefighters to show they were certified in EMS training. He said some officers did not complete the 30-hour course, but still received the 7 percent pay bump from the city for completing it.

In a statement to FOX 9, the city of Woodbury said the following: 

The City of Woodbury internally reviewed its Emergency Medical Services training records and protocols and determined the training and protocols were in compliance with all licensing requirements. Contrary to the allegations in the Complaint, no training records were falsified and Mr. Baker’s complaints were properly addressed.  Further, an independent review was conducted by Regions Hospital and found that the City of Woodbury’s training was, in fact, in compliance with all licensing requirements. 

With regard to the administration of any medications, such as ketamine, a medical professional determines whether the intervention is medically warranted under the circumstances. No employee of the City of Woodbury improperly administered any such medications.  

Mr. Baker was never disciplined or subject to retaliation and we categorically deny the allegations in the Complaint. Any further comment will be through the Court.