LIMINGTON, Maine — A woman who worked for more than a decade as a Limington firefighter is alleging that some of the town’s male EMTs unnecessarily exposed the breasts and genitals of female patients in their care and made lewd comments.
Andrea Thompson, who worked for the town fire department for more than 10 years, is suing the town after she said selectmen and fellow public safety officials retaliated against her for complaining about the treatment of patients and additional inappropriate comments directed toward her.
The suit names the town of Limington and four current and former selectmen as defendants.
Selectman Bruce Rozett, one of the defendants in the lawsuit, told the Bangor Daily News on Wednesday that “the only comment the town has is to please call the town attorney.” Town attorney Leah Rachin of the Kennebunk-based law firm Bergen & Parkinson did not immediately return a call Wednesday afternoon.
Other current and former selectmen named as defendants are Charles Huntress, Darryl Hubbard and Raymond Webb.
Thompson — who is represented in the case by attorney Rebecca Webber of the Auburn firm Skelton, Taintor & Abbott — is alleging in her suit that town officials ultimately began withholding her paychecks after she complained about the offensive behavior.
Thompson claimed that a fellow EMT — who is not a defendant in the lawsuit — on one occasion involving a 20-year-old trauma patient with facial injuries, was “hyper focusing on the female patient’s chest and black lacey bra during his [medical] assessment.
“He left the female’s chest exposed, paying limited attention to the male patient in the truck and he cut her bra off even though not necessary to assess her injuries,” the complaint reads, in part. “He left her breasts exposed instead of covering them up. Thompson kept pointing out that the male needed attention, including care needed that was beyond her license.”
In a separate incident, Thompson alleges that same EMT was in an ambulance with a pregnant 23-year-old woman and “requested the patient remove her underwear to access for bleeding, etc., even though there was no medical indications this was necessary.
“He then proceeded to view her vagina,” the lawsuit continues. “After they transferred the patient to Maine Medical Center for labor and delivery, [he] said, ‘God, I love my job.’”
Thompson claims her superior officer at the department additionally made comments about the size of her breasts, bragged about having affairs, made derogatory blonde jokes and frequently referred to women as “bitches.”
When she complained about the behavior to selectmen and other officials, Thompson alleges they not only took no action against the offending rescuers, but ultimately began withholding her paychecks and removed her from the EMT department.
“As the result of the defendants’ conduct, Thompson has suffered and continues to suffer professional and personal injuries, including lost wages, emotional pain and distress, suffering, inconvenience, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, chilling of constitutional and free speech rights, deprivation of professional and career opportunities, and other pecuniary and non-pecuniary losses,” the complaint reads, in part.
Thompson is seeking compensatory and punitive damages, as well as attorneys’ fees.