AMR Sued for Paramedic’s Violent Sexual Assault of 82-Year Old Asian Woman in Ambulance
Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, LLP filed suit Friday on behalf of an 82-year old elderly Asian woman and San Mateo resident for a violent sexual assault that took place in the back of an AMR-operated ambulance on December 23, 2022 on the way to the hospital (for treatment due to a fall at her assisted living home).
As alleged, Jane Doe was subjected to forced oral copulation by AMR paramedic Miguel Angel Nieblas Ontiveros (“Ontiveros”) while strapped to a gurney with body straps immobilizing her body, as well as a cervical-collar (“c-collar”) immobilizing her neck. Ontiveros weighed an imposing 250 pounds and stood six feet tall and would have overpowered Jane Doe even if she had not been completely immobilized – Jane Doe is a petite five feet three inches tall and barely weighs half of what Ontiveros weighs. As detailed in the complaint, Ontiveros forced his penis into her mouth and ejaculated into her mouth and on her body while she was bound and unable to move enroute to San Mateo Medical Center hospital. Semen was collected and DNA matched to Ontiveros.
AMR is the ambulance provider for San Mateo County and, as alleged, AMR hired and retained Ontiveros despite numerous red flags, including that he was facing felony grand theft charges stemming from his prior employment with the South San Francisco Fire Department.
When the District Attorney brought charges for the present sexual assault, shocking additional details were made public, including that Ontiveros was alleged to have committed an earlier sexual assault against another elderly patient seven months before he assaulted Jane Doe. 2
As detailed in the complaint, AMR allowed Ontiveros to remain on the job even after allegations of sexual assault in May 2022 and despite pending grand theft charges.
Anne Marie Murphy, a partner at Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy said,
"The facts of this case are horrific. An 82-year old Asian woman was sexually assaulted by a known felon and sexual predator while in the back of an AMR ambulance strapped to a gurney and immobilized with a neck brace.
Ontiveros is a sexual predator who never should have been allowed in an ambulance with an elderly woman. Jane Doe was fully dependent on AMR to safely transport her to the hospital—she was especially vulnerable because she is elderly and frail, was totally immobilized and is an Asian woman who speaks only Cantonese. Somehow the ambulance was directed to far away San Mateo Medical Center, which provided Ontiveros the time to commit the sexual assault. It was heartbreaking for Jane Doe and her family to learn that Ontiveros was on the job despite having sexually assaulted an 80- year old, mentally incompetent, patient in May 2022.
We are pursuing this case against Ontiveros’ employer, AMR, because they are accountable for placing a sexual predator in the ambulance and put profits ahead of safety. So many red flags were not acted upon in this case."
Donald J. Magilligan, another partner at Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy said,
"As stated in the complaint, AMR has a history of sexual assaults in its ambulances. In many situations, AMR allows only a single paramedic to ride in the back of its ambulances while in transit—patients are essentially in a locked box with the paramedic… it is incumbent on ambulance providers to vet their paramedics to prevent sexual assault—this did not happen in this case.
AMR is understaffed because they’re paying less than local fast food restaurants. This case is about greed. AMR willfully overlooked red flags and kept Ontiveros employed because he was willing to work for their low rates."