A high-profile civil lawsuit has a new focus: Mayor Harvey Hall, who also owns Hall Ambulance.
Dr. Mohammad Harb is suing the Bakersfield Police Department after he suffered a stroke, wrecked his car, and was allegedly denied care at the crash scene because officers thought he was drunk.
Through his family and attorney, Dr. Harb says he suffered irreparable brain damage when police officers wouldn't let an ambulance crew care for him.
Because he vomited before crashing, officers thought Dr. Harb was drunk.
Now, the police department has filed a counter suit, saying the ambulance company is to blame.
Dr. Harb's attorney, Thomas Brill, says that puts Harvey Hall in a difficult place. His city is suing his company.
"Under the law, it is the investigating officer who has charge of the scene. But, it is still the most qualified medical person who has charge of any patient that needs care. So, you just have to rely on the patient care person, which is the ambulance driver in this case, the paramedic to do their job and not be intimidated if a police officer stands up to them," said Brill.
But, the lawyer for the city says that's just one side of the story, and he has new evidence he plans to bring to trial.
Attorney Michael Marderosian says there is new evidence about a previous stroke suffered by Dr. Harb in 2004, three years before the stroke that led to the lawsuit.
Marderosian says there is testimony Harb's doctor wrote a prescription after that first stroke, and there is new testimony that Harb was not taking that medicine before the second stroke.
That, the city's lawyer says, puts the blame for Dr. Harb's injuries back on him.
Harb's attorney, Thomas Brill, says the case is more complicated than his opponent makes it sound, and that Dr. Harb's blood pressure was under control just before the accident.
A hearing is set for November 2nd to determine if the mayor has to testify. The trial is set for November 5th.