Parents of U student suing Minneapolis for wrongful death

The parents of a student found frozen to death in 2013 claim first responders failed to follow protocol.

by Kevin Beckman

The parents of a University of Minnesota student are suing over his 2013 death.

Jacob Anderson, a first-semester University freshman, was found frozen under the 10th Avenue Bridge on Dec. 15, 2013. His parents are now suing the Hennepin County Medical Center and its first responders — as well as the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office and the City of Minneapolis — for what they call Jacob’s wrongful death.

In the lawsuit filed in federal court Monday, Anderson’s family claims first responders failed to properly treat him, according to a release from Robert R. Hopper and Associates — the firm representing the family.

The complaint said first responders pronounced Anderson dead after arriving on the scene without following hypothermia protocol, which includes immediate CPR on the body before rewarming it in the hospital.

The suit claims the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office sent two death investigators to place Anderson in a body bag and bring him to the morgue instead of having a doctor investigate him.

The Minneapolis Fire Department’s Patient Care Guidelines for hypothermia instruct first responders to start CPR and attach an automated external defibrillator to a victim if they are found with no pulse. The lawsuit claims since these protocols weren’t followed, first responders showed gross negligence and egregious conduct, the firm’s website stated.

The suit seeks a minimum of $75,000 per plaintiff. The damages, available from the Minnesota Wrongful Death statue, include funeral costs, lost wages and the legal costs.

“Jake Anderson’s death is tragic,” said City Attorney Susan Segal in an email statement, “However, first responders in the City of Minneapolis, including fire and police personnel, are not responsible for his death. We can only imagine the grief Mr. Anderson’s parents, family and friends are experiencing.”