An injured hiker recorded spinning out of control while she was being airlifted to safety on a stretcher is suing the City of Phoenix for $2 million.
Katalin Metro was hiking with her husband, George, off Pestewa Peak in Arizona on June 4 when she lost her footing. She became too disoriented to make it down on her own, triggering an emergency response from firefighters, who wrapped her up in a blanket and then strapped her into what is called a “stokes basket,” FOX 10 reported.
Responders secured her to the helicopter, but almost as soon it left the ground, Metro began to spin.
Horrifying viral video of the incident, which has been viewed millions of times, shows the stretcher, mid-air, swinging in circles at an increasing speed for at least a full minute.
“I kept watching and hoping, just hoping that something would stop it,” George Metro previously told radio station KTAR-FM.
Fire department Capt. Bobby Dubnow at the time said Metro “suffered no ill effect from the spin other than being dizzy” – but in a claim filed Tuesday, the 74-year-old hiker said the incident caused physical emotional and psychological injuries.
According to documents obtained by Fox, Metro suffered from swelling and bruising in both eyes, blood in her ears, and swelling to her skull. She also required surgery to treat a spinal cord injury.
She spent nearly two weeks in rehabilitation and began outpatient therapy in July. The medical bill overall totaled just more than $290,000.
“Katalin Metro’s injuries were caused or contributed to by the negligence, negligence per se, gross negligence, carelessness and/or other fault on the part of the City of Phoenix,” the notice reads.
Officials with the City of Phoenix said they cannot comment on the matter due to the pending litigation.
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