HAMILTON – The family of Yosif Al-Hasnawi, the 19-year-old Good Samaritan who police say was killed while trying to stop an altercation, is suing Hamilton’s paramedics and alleging they failed to properly treat the teen.
Al-Hasnawi — described by police as a brave young man who was trying to do the right thing — was shot and killed last month after he tried to help an older man who was being accosted by two men outside his mosque.
The two men have since been charged in connection with the death, and a criminal investigation into paramedics’ handling of the incident was launched last month and is being carried out by a neighbouring police force.
Witnesses to the interaction criticized paramedics at the scene, saying that they took too long to treat and transport Al-Hasnawi and instead accused him of acting like his wounds were worse than they were.
Al-Hasnawi’s father and two brothers have now launched a civil lawsuit, claiming that their tight-knit family is suffering from mental distress over the loss of the teen and that they suffered extreme emotional and mental distress as they watched Al-Hasnawi suffer while emergency crews allegedly failed to act.
In addition to paramedics, the lawsuit names Hamilton police, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton and the two men charged in the shooting.
A statement of claim provided by the family’s lawyer alleges that paramedics and police were negligent and incompetent when they failed to administer first aid or promptly transfer him to hospital.
“The fact that the plaintiffs witnessed the condition of their brother-son in a critically ill situation with no assistance from the defendant ambulance crew members or the police was devastating,” read the statement of claim.
The family is seeking $10 million in compensation for their personal and economic losses, as well as compensation for funeral and legal expenses.
“The deceased also worked part-time to assist his father, the plaintiff Majed and his minor plaintiff brothers, Mahdi and Ahmed. The deceased intended to … assist his father and brothers towards attaining a comfortable standard of living,” read the statement of claim, which also noted the Al-Hasnawi was studying medicine at Brock University.
“The untimely and tragic death of the deceased at the age of nineteen deprived his father and minor plaintiff brothers of his care, companionship, and guidance and also prevented him contributing to and elevating the standard of living of his (father and brothers).”
Hamilton spokeswoman Allison Jones said the city has received notice of the lawsuit from the family and is preparing a statement of defence.