Houston Ambulance Company Accused of Cutting Competitor's Brake Lines

A totally unrelated, and infinitely cooler, ambulance.
A totally unrelated, and infinitely cooler, ambulance. Flickr/Peter Vanderheyden
A Houston ambulance company is suing a competitor, accusing its employees — or hired goons — of vandalizing its vehicles, including by shooting out windows and cutting brake lines.

In a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Harris County District Court, Republic EMS also accused City Ambulance of installing GPS tracking devices on its ambulances so it could keep tabs on Republic's customers and try to poach them by sending "marketing materials."

The suit claims that vandalism was ordered or authorized by one of City Ambulance's directors, Mohamad Massoud, because he resented the fact that he was losing employees to Republic. Massoud and City Ambulance in January sued Republic and two former employees, accusing them of violating non-compete agreements. (According to the suit, "there might be other owners of City Ambulance, but...Moussad owns (at least in part), operates, manages, and controls City Ambulance.")

Calling the defendants' behavior "reprehensible," Republic's suit claims that "it is fortunate that no patient died or has been seriously injured as a result of the vandalism perpetrated by City Ambulance."

The suit claims that "the shootings of Republic EMS ambulances occurred at a variety of locations in Texas" between September and November 2016. Republic alleged that it spent more than $100,000 on increased security measures "due to the vandalism and threats of violence."

The accusations come at an especially rough time for City Ambulance. In February, one of its ambulance drivers was involved in a crash on Highway 6 in west Harris County while delivering a patient to Memorial Hermann's emergency room. City Ambulance was sued by family members of the patient — who died a month later — and by the paramedic riding in the rear of the vehicles.

In a lawsuit filed in June, the relatives of Syed Aziz Ahmed accused driver Allyson Trujillo and City Ambulance of negligence, claiming Ahmed died from injuries he suffered in the crash. (The suit doesn't list Ahmed's age, but a public records search indicates he was 83.)

In April, paramedic John Lowe, who was treating Ahmed, sued City Ambulance, claiming Trujillo had switched on the lights and sirens, but wasn't paying attention when she ran a red light at an intersection, "causing a severe seven vehicle collision." Lowe allegedly sustained a collapsed lung, broken wrist and arm, and a brain tumor.

City Ambulance filed denials in both lawsuits, and called Ahmed's death an "Act of God."

We reached out to City Ambulance and will update if we hear back.
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Contributor Craig Malisow covers crooks, quacks, animal abusers, elected officials, and other assorted people for the Houston Press.
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