NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

June 27, 2013

City, former fire chief sued by ambulance company

Ambulance firm files $5M defamation lawsuit

(Continued)

The suit alleges that Cutter worked actively against Action Ambulance.

In the short term, it asserts that Cutter’s actions led to the non-renewal of a contract between Action Ambulance and the Anna Jaques Hospital. The pact is scheduled to end Monday.

Focusing on the broader picture, the suit states that Cutter told municipal leaders in nearby communities that the Essex Country Fire Chiefs Association had revoked Action Ambulance’s membership.

Because membership in the ECFCA is sometimes a determining factor to a community’s decision on whether to award ambulance service contracts, the suit alleges that Cutter was hampering Action Ambulance’s chances to win new business.

The suit alleges that “defendant Cutter, individually and in his capacity as an official of Newburyport, instigated the revocation of Action Ambulance’s membership in the ECFCA.”

Lawyers for Action Ambulance are asking for about $5 million or, “up to three, but not less than two, times plaintiff’s actual damages resulting from defendants’ violation (of law), plus reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs.”

Officials of Action Ambulance said they will provide more details of Cutter’s involvement as the suit progresses.

An estimated maximum timeline for the case, according the the Trial Court Information Center, shows the discovery date would be April 16 and dates for disposition would be April 11, 2015.

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