This Guy Credits God With Saving Him, Files Lawsuit Against Actual Rescuers

Why Is Roy Ortiz So Ungrateful To Those Who Saved His Life?

Roy Ortiz nearly died in the Colorado floods last year. Fire department personnel rescued him but Ortiz says God did. Now he’s suing those who saved him.
Image: David R. Jennings / Broomfield Enterprise

Those floods last September in Colorado killed at least 8 people. First responders worked hard, risking their lives to save others and searching for the missing. An entire state was grateful. Well, not the entire state…

Roy Ortiz has a lawyer and he’s not afraid to use him

On September 12, Roy Ortiz of Broomfield was driving on a road near U.S. highway 287 when he saw that the road was washed out. He did try to stop but a bridge collapse made his car slide into the creek that ran parallel. Two other cars then slid on top of his car, overturning it. Ortiz was trapped inside, with rushing water all around. Lucky for him, North Metro Fire Rescue first responders were able to rescue him.

But Roy Ortiz now says that rescue personnel didn’t respond quickly enough, leaving him in the fast-moving water for 2 hours. He also complains that the road should have been closed, preventing the accident in the first place. Ortiz’s lawyer has now filed preliminary papers in a possible suit against the cities of Boulder, Broomfield, Westminster and Lafayette. Specifically named in the suit are two Boulder County sheriff’s deputies, a member of the Westminster dive team, and the Broomfield and North Metro Fire Rescue District. Well, that’s gratitude for you.

It was God who saved Roy Ortiz

That’s what Roy Ortiz believes, at least. And, while it is perfectly fine for Mr. Ortiz to believe that God helped him survive as he waited for rescue, it wasn’t the deity that pulled him from his car. That was the rescuers from North Metro. And they did it as quickly as they were able. Though they are not unsympathetic to Roy Ortiz’s ordeal, they did everything they could to rescue him as quickly as possible. The spokeswoman for North Metro told the Broomfield Enterprise:

“We sympathize with what he went through,” Sara Farris said. “Given the challenging conditions, we feel our responders performed well and professionally.”

North Metro’s records indicate that they pulled Roy Ortiz from his car in a little over an hour after the 911 call was received. Ortiz was grateful that day and when he was released from the hospital the following day (as seen in the photo at the top of this story). What happened between then and now to change that?

Medical bills for $40,000, Alex

Roy Ortiz has incurred medical bills totaling about $40,000. Well, that would certainly explain a few things. His attorney, Ed Ferszt, seems to think that he can make the parties named in the suit pay those bills. Along with another half a million in damages. Because, hey, milk it for every dime, right? Even though it’s the taxpayers who would be on the hook for any awards.

That doesn’t really look likely, though. Not according to a Denver personal injury lawyer the Enterprise spoke to. He notes that, for Roy Ortiz to win his case, he must be able to prove that the parties he’s suing showed “gross deviation from reasonable care.” That, or that they caused him to sustain a “significant or unreasonable injury.” We’re talking extreme negligence. Since Mr. Ortiz’s rescuers put their life on the line to save his, that’s unlikely. Not to mention ungrateful.

At the time of the accident, Roy Ortiz stated that, once his car had slid off the road, he first called his wife, then called 911. Can you see the problem with this? Exactly. And that will be an important point if there is any trial.

Mr. Ortiz says that his faith sustained him as he awaited rescue. I don’t doubt that for a minute. But actual men and women put their lives on the line to save his. This is no way to repay their courage and skill.  What is really awful is that Roy Ortiz has such high medical bills that he had to find a lawyer and initiate the process of filing suit against those very people. Yet more proof that our health care system is in dire need of further reform.