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FARMINGTON, Utah (AP) -- The widow of a 72-year-old man who suffered a heart attack at Lagoon has filed a $3 million suit against the park, claiming a security employee prevented onlookers from providing rescue breathing and CPR.
Ray L. Alvey, 72, died May 17, 2003, one day after suffering the heart attack.
"I feel deep within me that he would still be with me if he got the proper care," Sylvia Alvey of Roy said Thursday.
Dick Andrew, Lagoon vice president of marketing, said he is not aware of the lawsuit that was filed Monday but was aware of the incident.
He refused to discuss policies concerning patrons performing rescue breathing or CPR.
"We do have very, very thorough procedures and very well-trained medical people here," Andrew said.
According to the court documents, several onlookers came to Alvey's aid after he collapsed.
Frank Nielsen, a licensed EMT and a firefighter, began performing chest compressions, while a woman performed rescue breathing.
A Lagoon security employee arrived several minutes later, without "a rescue breathing mask, CPR kit, automatic electronic defibrillator or any other medical equipment," the suit said.
He told Nielsen he was in control of the scene and "ordered Mr. Nielsen to stop compressions in order to allow him to reassess the scene," the suit said.
It said Nielsen refused to stop so the employee "physically removed Mr. Nielsen from the position in which he had previously been rendering aid to Mr. Alvey."
The suit said the employee "repeatedly threatened Mr. Nielsen with jail time and asked him if would like to engage in mutual combat to decide the issue."
The suit said the employee said he would not perform rescue breathing himself "due to the fact that rescue breathing was against Lagoon policy, and that even if he could perform rescue breathing, he was unwilling to do so without a rescue breathing mask."
It said the woman who had been performing rescue breathing volunteered to continue to do so without a mask, but the man "refused to allow her to so, again citing Lagoon policy."
(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)