Rawlins Hospital EMT Accused Of Fondling Breasts, Giving Fentanyl To Woman Who Hurt Ankle

A New Jersey woman is suing a Carbon County Memorial Hospital EMT for fondling her breasts and attempting to administer fentanyl after she hurt her ankle in a car accident. He then stopped by her hospital room and asked her out on a date.

Jim Angell

July 19, 20223 min read

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A New Jersey woman is suing Carbon County Memorial Hospital and an emergency medical technician, claiming he lifted her shirt and fondled her breasts even though she was complaining only of ankle pain.

Julia Owens, in a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court, is seeking damages to be determined in a trial from the hospital and Travis Wright, alleging he also tried to give her fentanyl after a traffic accident in Sweetwater County in 2020.

According to the lawsuit filed Monday, Owens was on a cross-country road trip with two friends in August 2020 and was on her way home to New Jersey when the car she was riding in collided with another on Interstate 80 in Sweetwater County.

An ambulance from Carbon County Memorial Hospital staffed by Wright and one other emergency medical technician responded to the accident, the lawsuit said.

Wright put Owens in the back of the ambulance to treat her and closed the doors, the lawsuit said.

It added even though Owens was only complaining of ankle and foot pain, Wright started an IV and attempted to administer fentanyl, which Owens refused.

Wright then conducted a full-body assessment, including a chest exam, handed Owens a medical gown and told her to “get naked,” the lawsuit said.

Owens, who was 21 at the time, refused, but Wright insisted on conducting a breast examination, the lawsuit said. 

“He ripped the long sleeve shirt she was wearing over her head, leaving her in a crop top,” it said. “He then grabbed the bottom of the crop top and pulled it up, in an attempt to expose her breasts.”

Owens resisted, but Wright continued and after exposing her breasts, he began “cupping them in his hands and squeezing the areas around her nipples.”

Wright’s partner opened the door of the ambulance and advised Owens to put the gown on over her clothing, “ending Mr. Wright’s insistence that she take her clothes off in front of him.”

Wright then rode with Owens in the back of the ambulance for the one-hour trip to the hospital, the lawsuit said.

“Even once she was at the hospital, the nightmare continued,” the lawsuit said. “Mr. Wright refused to leave her alone and came into Ms. Owens’ room about three times.”

During his first stop by her room, Wright asked Owens out on a date, the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit said that Wright had been reported to hospital officials in the past for similar behavior.

“Mr. Wright had a pattern of unnecessarily removing clothing from young female patients and placing … ECGs on their breasts without any medical justification …” it said. “An investigation by Sweetwater County revealed several other instances where Mr. Wright was inappropriate with young female patients, including minors.”

The lawsuit alleges negligence on the part of both Wright and the hospital and negligence on the part of the hospital for failing to take action regarding an earlier complaint about Wright, for allowing him to linger in Owens’ hospital room and for hiring him.

The lawsuit asks for damages for physical pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, past and future medical and related expenses and lost wages.

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Jim Angell